Who are they ? It is not a question here of drawing up an inventory of all that the sector has in terms of actors and subcontractors, but there is an ecosystem which probably already weighs several billion dollars, which – for some in any case – was born and revolves specifically around the electricity market, and some very discreet players are nevertheless key in the development of this sector.
Operating system vendors
These are, for example, and primarily the designers and suppliers of software solutions, and in particular of operating systems. While some manufacturers integrate in-house solutions, with more or less success, others have chosen to entrust the development and integration of their OS to external service providers. This is particularly the case for Volvo and Renault (at least for the Megane e-Tech) who trust Google and its Android Automotive OS. We also know that Apple is working on a similar device that will probably natively equip other brands, after having worked together to implement its OS, which cannot be installed as an overlay like a CarPlay. At GAFAM, we understood very well the fantastic opportunity represented by the automotive market to continue to develop its know-how in the extraction, management and redistribution of data. The car is in this respect an inexhaustible mine, since a car is probably one of the consumer objects that include the most sensors.
Manufacturers of “vegan” interiors
The transition to the electric car leads to new uses and increased consideration of environmental issues, which go as far as animal welfare. Thus, in the wake of Tesla, many manufacturers are gradually adopting, as standard or as an option, a vegan interior of their models. In this development, some existing subcontractors, such as the American-Japanese Ultrafabrics or the Scottish Bridge of Weir, have strengthened and diversified their offer and are seeing their order book fill up, while others have emerged recently to address this particular market. There will certainly be real newcomers to this promising market, with their share of innovations aimed at making electric cars even “cleaner”, because the creation of synthetic materials from recycled products is probably a technological challenge of a to attract young companies. The Race-Tex microfiber interior of the Porsche Taycan, for example, is dressed in Econyl, a material made mainly from recycled fishing nets.
These are certainly those who rub their hands the hardest given the size of the market, its stakes, and the unit cost of the products concerned, which represents thousands of euros per car. CATL, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, BYD, CALB… Some names may mean nothing to you, but each of them represents a major industrial group, with a common characteristic: the top 10 manufacturers of batteries for electric cars are all Asian, mainly Chinese, then Korean and Japanese. In a market that should represent in less than a decade 95 billion dollars, it is probably the shovel dealers who will benefit the most from the electric gold rush. Add to that some start-ups specializing in the development of solid batteries, such as QuantumScape or ProLogium.
BMS supplier designers
The BMS (Battery Management System) is to the battery what the OS is to the computer. And car manufacturers for the most part delegate this very specialized skill to specialized companies, some of which have been created very recently, while others, such as the venerable Texas Instruments, have long held their position in other sectors, and have put their know-how in terms of microprocessors and computing capacity at the service of automotive brands. Bosch, meanwhile, is developing a new cloud service for batteries used in electric vehicles, which allows users to obtain real-time battery status and optimize it accordingly. With us, a young shoot like Moba (formerly La Belle Batterie) works in the sector in SAAS mode, for individuals and professionals. A global market that should pass from $5.56 billion in 2022 to $15.18 billion in 2029 (other sources indicate… double, but we are used to being wary of analysts’ projections, let’s say that gives an idea).
Finally, we could cite in bulk the charging operators, the designers of planners, the manufacturers of gearboxes for electric vehicles (yes yes, that exists, like Bosch to name but one) and even the sound designers and other composers called to the rescue to redefine the auditory signature of electric cars within the framework of AVAS, and many other professions involved in the value chain of the design of electric vehicles, or:
- Energy providers who can offer rate plans and incentives for electric vehicle owners to charge their cars at times of low energy consumption.
- Construction companies that offer services to install charging stations for electric vehicles in private and public car parks.
- Technology companies that offer fleet management solutions for businesses that want to use electric vehicles for their business operations.
In summary, just as shovel dealers have managed to make more money than gold diggers by providing products and services necessary for gold mining, companies that can supply products and services necessary for the adoption of the electric car will have a better chance of succeeding in this growing market.