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USA: New Data Reveals California is Leader in Market for Electric Vehicles

Editor’s Note: The following is a news release from Next 10, an independent, nonpartisan organization that aims to educate, engage and empower Californians to improve the state’s future.

As California is poised to adopt a new round of car standards designed to cut emissions and expand the market for electric vehicles (EV), a new report provides insight into California’s emerging leadership role in this fast-growing economic sector. New data reveals that California took in $467 million in global EV venture capital (VC) investment (69 percent of total dollars) in the first half of 2011 and, along with Michigan, is the top patent holder for new EV technology in the United States. Powering Innovation: California is Leading the Shift to Electric Vehicles from R&D to Early Adoption, from the nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization Next 10, tracks key indicators to assess opportunities and obstacles for California in the EV sector.

“California is fast becoming the world’s advanced car capital — our entrepreneurs, savvy consumers, research institutions and our market-driving policies are creating a perfect storm for continued growth,” said F. Noel Perry, businessman and founder of Next 10.

Chief Findings:

California is a global VC leader in electric vehicles, attracting 69 percent of the world’s EV investment in the first half of 2011.
•In the first half of 2011, California attracted 69 percent of global investment in EV-related sectors and 74 percent of United States investment in EV-related sectors ($467 million).
•In 2010, California earned 80 percent ($840 million) of total U.S. and 60 percent of total global VC investment in EV‐related sectors.
•Investment in this area has grown 712 percent since 2006 in the state, with Silicon Valley and Orange County attracting the most dollars.

California is a national and global patent leader in EV technology.
•California and Michigan rank first in total EV technology patents in the nation- both generating 300 patents each between 2008-2010.

◦ Just two decades ago, California ranked 17th in the nation in this area. This huge leap suggests California is taking the lead over older players in the development of newer technologies.
•Battery patents dominate California EV patents (86 percent of all patents are for battery technology, from 2008-2010).
•Globally, California trails only Japan and South Korea in patents but exceeds other top patent developers including Germany, Taiwan and France.

New jobs data shows strong growth in California’s EV sector — going against recessionary trends.
•During the recent downturn, EV jobs expanded four percent in California, while total employment in the state dropped seven percent from January 2009 to 2010.

◦ Los Angeles and Silicon Valley enjoy the largest employment numbers, accounting for nearly half (47 percent) of EV employment in California.
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