Energy SPACs: Technology and Innovation Accelerate the Pace of Decarbonization

Energy 7/15/2021
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Decarbonization is a mega trend that will provide myriad benefits. Globally, government officials and industry professionals are grappling with the following question: how do we grow global economies, eliminate energy poverty, and reduce carbon emissions? Carbon emissions in the U.S. and Europe have declined due to increased solar and wind generation. But a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 has emerged. Recently, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)

Dr. Fatih Birol stated “almost half of the emissions reductions needed to reach net zero by 2050 will need to come from technologies that have not reached the market today.” The economic prize for disrupting the current global energy sector is substantial with an estimated total addressable market of over $11 trillion1. Entrepreneurs like Bill Gates are turning to technology and innovation to reach net zero by 2050. The emergence of special purpose acquisition companies or SPACs (Figure 1) provides investors an opportunity to buy publicly-traded stocks of companies that are using technology and innovation to disrupt the global energy sector and accelerate the pace of decarbonization.

Almost half of the emissions reductions needed to reach net zero by 2050 will need to come from technologies that have not reached the market today.

Dr. Fatih Birol Executive Director
- International Energy Agency (February 3, 2021)

Figure 1: Growth in Energy-Technology SPACs2

Source: Company filings as of 6/30/2021

Energy-Technology SPACs

As the world was in the early stages of what would become a global pandemic, a hydrogen truck maker named after the inventor of the first alternating current (AC) motor became the first non-traditional, energy- technology publicly traded stock via SPAC. In March 2020, Nikola announced plans to merge with VectoIQ Acquisition Corporation, a blank check company or SPAC formed by investors with the purpose of raising money through an IPO to eventually acquire another company. Nikola’s announcement unleashed a frenzy of SPAC IPOs that have merged with pure-play, energy-technology businesses offering numerous investment opportunities. Figure 1 illustrates the rapid rise in the number of energy- technology SPACs. Through June 30, 2021, 45 publicly listed energy-technology companies have gone public via a SPAC. In addition, there are more than 18 other current SPACs that are expected to merge with energy-technology companies. By the end of 2021, there could be 50-75 energy-technology publicly listed stocks via a SPAC. A complete list of SPACs and former SPACs is included in the SPAC Universe and SPAC Landscape sections at the end of the paper.

The aggregate market cap of the energy-technology SPACs is approximately $99 billion as of June 30, 2021. Figure 2 below illustrates the market cap allocated by pure-play energy- technology.

Electric vehicle (EV) transportation represents 47% of the market cap of the energy-technology companies. After solar and wind generation, EV transportation is the most commercially advanced energy technology that is decarbonizing the transportation sector today. Eighteen former SPACs make up this category including: EV passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans, delivery vehicles, semi-trucks, and even flying taxis.

Battery storage is the energy-technology with the highest potential to accelerate the pace of decarbonization. Battery storage companies are using software to optimize lithium-ion battery storage.

Other companies are exploring different chemistries using zinc and solid-state to lengthen battery storage capability beyond a few hours. Eight battery storage former SPACs or SPACs with identified targets represent 19% of the total market cap.

Autonomous vehicles components represents 15% of the market cap of former SPACs. This includes seven companies that are advancing a technology that is key for autonomous vehicles called LIDAR, an acronym for light detection and ranging.

Charging stations make up 15% of the total market cap. Charging stations are critical infrastructure required for the expansion of electric vehicles. These companies are focused on U.S. and Europe expansion of electric charging networks.

Former Energy-Related SPACs -
$99 billion Market Cap

as of 6/30/2021

Figure 2 – Energy-Technology SPACs by Market Cap

Source: Company filings as of 6/30/2021

Figure 3 Electric Vehicle by Transportation Type

Source: Company filings as of 6/30/2021

Other energy technologies related former SPACs represent 3% of total market cap including a renewable natural gas provider, the largest wind and solar generation provider in India, a lithium-ion recycling company, a renewable chemical provider, and a financing provider for residential rooftop solar.

From here, each energy-technology will be explained in a little more detail. Each of the 45 companies in the SPAC Universe listed in Tables 5 and 6 will be highlighted with explanations on how the company is participating in the specific energy technology.

EV Transportation

EV pure-plays have emerged across all types of vehicle classifications providing a menu of investing options. EV transportation includes former SPACs and non-SPACs like Tesla. Most former SPACs are targeting a specific type of vehicle. Figure 3 above illustrates the various EV stocks by transportation type.

The transportation industry produces approximately 14% of the 50 gigatons of carbon emissions worldwide3. In Europe, countries such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and France are phasing out the internal combustion engine or ICE vehicles over the next two decades. In the U.S., California passed regula- tions requiring half of trucks sold in the state to be zero emissions by 2035 and 100% by 2045. EV penetration rates are expected to increase as the cost of lithium-ion battery packs decline from $200 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) today to $94/kwh in 2024 and $52/kwh in 2030. EV could reach price parity with ICE vehicles in the U.S. and Europe between 2024 – 2026 and in China between 2028 – 20304.

EV Passenger Cars

The first all-electric car debuted in 1890 as an electrified wagon designed by William Morrison in Des Moines, IA. The wagon reached a top speed of 20 miles per hour using 24 battery cells that needed recharging every 50 miles5. However, the introduction and subsequent mass production of the gas-powered Model T starting in 1908 that cost $825 eliminated consumer demand for electric wagons. Fast forward 100 years to 2008 with Tesla releasing its first all-electric car – the Tesla Roadster. With a sticker price of $109,000, the Roadster accelerated from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds and had a range of 244 miles on a charge.

Today, EV passenger cars represent approximately 1-2% of the global fleet. The global EV market is expected to grow at a 31% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2020 through 2030. By 2030, EV passenger car sales are projected to account for almost 30% of global sales6. Tesla dominates the U.S. market delivering 180,667 battery electric vehicles (BEV) during the fourth quarter of 2020 representing 79%7 of EV sales in 2020. In Europe, EV sales are more evenly distributed between Volkswagen, Renault, and Tesla. Lastly, in China, leading EV sales include: BYD, SAIC-GM-Wuling, and Tesla. Other than the cost, one of the biggest impediments to buying an EV for consumers has been battery anxiety or range anxiety that is the fear of running out of battery while driving an electric vehicle.

Several pure-play EV passenger car stocks have debuted as former SPACs. Table 1 compares the various former SPAC EV passenger car models to Tesla’s current lineup. The former SPACs that are focused on the EV passenger car market including the following:

  • Lucid (NYSE: CCIV) is a luxury car manufacturer forecasted to deliver 20,000 luxury sedans in 2022 with sales increasing at a 88% annual growth rate through 2026 including sales of sedans and luxury The CEO is the former chief engineer of the Tesla Model S.
  • Faraday Future (NYSE: PSAC) anticipates introducing three luxury EV models at different pricing The most expensive FF 91 series debuts in 2022, followed by FF81 series in 2023 and FF 71 series in 2025. Annual growth in unit sales is forecasted to be 401% through 2025.

Table 1 – EV Passenger Car Models

  • Fisker Inc. (NYSE: FSR) is introducing its first model, Fisker Ocean, in 2022 followed by a pickup and crossover electric vehicle in 2024 and Overall, unit sales growth are forecasted to grow by 200% annually from 2022 – 2025. Fisker’s CEO is Henri Fisker who designed the EV model for BMW and is a board member of Aston Martin. Its sedan is priced to compete with Tesla Model 3.
  • Canoo (NYSE: GOEV) is rolling out a new EV line including a passenger car, a pickup, a van, and a delivery Canoo is implementing an innovative subscription model that is an alternative to buyng or leasing a car today. The model is similar to the one used by electric scooter companies Lime and Bird. Under the subscription model, a customer downloads the Canoo app and picks up their Canoo car at a nearby location. The subscription requires a minimum term of one month. The monthly payment incorporates all of the necessities of driving the car including: insurance, charging, registration and routine maintenance. Customers can drop off their Canoo car at the closest location at anytime. Canoo believes that a try before you buy concept will increase EV penetration rates. Canoo’s passenger car will be available in 2025.

EV Pickups/Vans

The market for electric pickups and vans is the smallest of the EV transportation segment but remains untapped. In July 2021, Rivian, a private company, is expected to deliver the first electric pickup truck. The R1T truck will be priced at $75,000 with a 400-mile battery range and towing capacity of 11,000 pounds. Amazon has pre-purchased 100,000 delivery vans from Rivian as well.

Three former SPACs are participating in the EV pickup market as well including:

  • Lordstown (NYSE: RIDE) is a pure-play electric pickup Lordstown’s Endurance full-size electric pickup is manufactured in Lordstown, OH and is priced at $52,500 with a 250 mile range and 7,500 pounds of towing capacity. Lordstown is expected to sell 2,200 pickups in 2021 with annual growth of 265% forecasted through 2024.
  • Canoo (NYSE: GOEV) is offering a 7 passenger seat lifestyle vehicle similar to a van under its subscription model as discussed Unit sales are forecasted to begin in with 10,000 vans in 2022 growing to 50,000 units by 2024.
  • XLFleet (NYSE: XL) provides electrified powertrains mostly to fleet vehicles using a business model is discussed in more detail in the EV Delivery discussion below. XL does not have its own brand of pickup or Instead, XL electric powertrains are available to be installed on the chassis of Ford, GMC, Chevrolet and Isuzu pickups.

The market for electric pickups and vans is the smallest of the EV transportation segment but remains untapped.

EV Buses

Electric buses have gained the most market share. It’s estimated that there about 425,000 electric buses world- wide representing about 17% of the world bus fleet8. EV buses represented about 45% of the new global EV vehicle sales in 20209. China operates the largest electric bus fleet and China-based BYD Company is the largest EV bus company in the world. However, the U.S. is expected to lead demand increases for the electric bus over the next several years. EV bus sales in North America are expected to be 50% total sales by 2025. Several states like California that have mandated all mass transit buses be zero-emission by 2029. Several pure-play EV bus companies have recently listed via SPACs including:

  • Proterra (NYSE: ACTC) is a leading U.S. EV bus company with a first mover competitive advantage. Proterra’s EV solution offers a battery system that results in lower costs and higher energy density. Also, Proterra sees vehicle-to-grid (V2G) revenue opportunities. V2G is also referred to as smart charging in that it charges and discharges electricity from an electric vehicle flexibly and EV owners are able make money by selling power back to the grid or save costs by allowing buildings to use power from the EV’s batteries during peak consumption. Proterra generates about $193 million in annual revenue and is expected to grow annually by 67% per year through 2025.
  • Lion Electric Co (NYSE: LEV) is predominately an EV bus manufacturer with 98% of 2020 sales coming from sale of 108 EV buses. Lion’s buses are purpose-built designed and include proprietary battery technology including V2G revenue opportunities well. Lion units sales are forecast to grow by 118% annually through 2024.
  • Arrival (NYSE: ARVL) distinguishes its vehicles with customized solutions manufactured in microfactories that have lower production volume capacity requiring less capex and operating expense due to smaller Arrival is forecasted to manufacture 1,000 buses in 2022 growing to 11,300 by 2024.

EV Delivery

Consumer shifts to online shopping and demands for immediate delivery are increasing the need for delivery vehicles that are the last mile delivery to the consumer. Between 2021–2025, demand for delivery vehicles is expected to increase by 11% annually. EV delivery vehicles are forecasted to gain market share as well. Several former SPACs are participating in the EV delivery vehicle market including the following:

Source: Company filings as of 3/31/21
  • Arrival (NYSE: ARVL) utilizes its microfactory concept to manufacture smaller, cheaper EV delivery Arrival uses a composite material rather than steel for vehicle shell lowering cost of the vehicle. Arrival has a contracted order for 10,000 delivery vehicles with UPS with an option to purchase additional 10,000 delivery vehicles.
  • XOS (NYSE: NGAC) differentiates itself through its customized battery designed for specific range of delivery vehicle minimizing battery price. In addition, modular battery design with specialized cooling system improves battery performance.
  • Electric Last Mile Solutions (NYSE: FIII) is the cheapest electric delivery vehicle starting at $25,000 given weight of less than 6,000 Electric Last Mile Solutions is solely focused on the growing need for EV delivery vehicles.
  • Canoo (NYSE: GOEV) is offering a multi-purpose electric delivery vehicle with 200+ miles of range with a starting price of $33,000. Delivery vehicles represent about 21% of Canoo’s 2025 unit sales.
  • Faraday (NYSE: PSAC) offers customers a purpose built smart last mile delivery vehicle with up to 330 mile of range. Unit sales are forecast to begin in 2023 rising to 35,000 unit sales in 2025.
  • XL Fleet (NYSE: XL) – XL is a leading provider of fleet electrification for commercial vehicles in North America with over 3,700 electrified powertrain systems Note that XL sells an electrified drive systems that is comprised of an electric motor that is mounted onto the vehicles drive shaft, an inverter motor controller, and a lithium-ion battery pack to store energy. XL’s systems are installed on the chasses of delivery trucks produced by OEMs such as Ford, GMC, Chevrolet and Isuzu. XL does not manufacture its own branded electric vehicle.

EV Semi-Trucks

Semi-trucks come in many shapes and sizes and are used for both short and long haul routes. Heavy duty trucking used for transportation generates a significant amount of carbon emissions driving the most miles (except for passenger cars) using diesel as the fuel source. The industry is looking at several alternative fuel options to decarbonize. Electric batteries are one option. Hydrogen is another. Hydrogen is effective at decarbonizing semi-trucks because batteries by themselves are too heavy to be effective. Currently, there are less than 5 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles on the road. Hydrogen is simply too expensive as the cost is over $6 per kilogram. However, there are expected to be 230 hydrogen fuel cell semis on the road by 2030. Hydrogen fuel cell costs are expected to decline to $3 per kilogram. For perspective, hydrogen prices at $4 per kilogram is parity with $3.25 diesel per gallon10.

Volvo is producing its VNR electric truck with range to travel 150 miles. Table 2 highlights several recent SPACs that have identified innovative ways to decarbonize the semi-truck including:

Source: Company filings as of 6/30/2021
  • Hyzon (NYSE: DCRB) is decarbonizing the shorter distance truck transportation sector by manufacturing a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) that uses hydrogen fuel cells to power short haul semi trucks replacing diesel. How does a FCEV operate? FCEVs use fuel cells on board to convert hydrogen into electricity that powers the electric motor. Hyzon semi-trucks require smaller batteries to provide supplemental power since zero- carbon hydrogen is used as the primary power supply to the electric drivetrain. Hyzon projects semi-truck sales to ramp from 74 representing 87% of sales volumes in 2021 to 7,400 by 2025 (43% of total volume sales).
  • XOS (NYSE: NGAC) – As highlighted above, XOS is focused on last-mile and return-to-base short haul truck that travel less than 200 miles per shift. XOS modular designed battery and proprietary cooling system optimizes battery The first XOS semi-trucks will be delivered in 2022 with unit sales growing by over 800% annually by 2025 representing 45% of XOS 2025 unit sales.
  • Lion (NYSE: LEV) is an EV bus manufacturer today representing 98% of its 2020 unit Short haul trucks are expected to be unveiled in 2021 and 2022 growing to represent 85% of unit sales by 2024.
  • Hyliion (NYSE: HYLN) – Hyliion sells electrified powertrain solutions that can be installed on any Class 8 long haul semi-truck. Hyliion’s innovative solution replaces the powertrain of existing trucks rather than building its own brand of semi-truck. Hyliion’s fully electric system replaces a traditional diesel powertrain. The electric powertrain paired with a battery system that is recharged by an onboard generator fueled by natural gas. The use of an onboard generator requires a smaller battery back so Hyliion’s truck is cheaper than a battery-electric truck and a fuel-cell electric Hyliion ERX truck will be fuel agnostic allowing for the use of renewable natural gas or hydrogen. Hyllion forecasts unit sales to increase by almost 400% annually from 2021 – 2024.
  • Nikola Corporation (NYSE: NKLA) – Nikola provides a battery-electric vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle semi-trucks. Hydrogen fuel cells are discussed Nikola’s fuel cell electric vehicle are expected to be available in 2023 and will represent 42% of 2024 unit sales while battery electric vehicles will grow from 600 units in 2021 to 7,000 in annual sales in 2024. In addition, Nikola plans to build a hydrogen refueling station network with 10 in place by 2023 and 24 by 2024.

Urban Air Mobility

The last and probably most futuristic decarbonization solution is urban air mobility. What does this mean? It’s an air-taxi. A flying car. An urban electric jet. George Jetson and Hanna Barbera are the original investors. You might be laughing but the investors backing three urban air mobility companies that recently IPOed as SPACs highlighted below are no joke. In addition, Morgan Stanley estimates Urban Air Mobility to be a $1.5 to $3.0 trillion industry by 204011.

  • Archer Aviation (NYSE: ACIC) is headquartered in Palo Alto, Archer is developing a full scale electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jet that is capable of traveling 60 miles at 150 miles per hour. Archer wants to reduce traffic congestion offering customers the fastest mode of transportation. For example, the commute from JFK to downtown Manhattan is 7 minutes in an Archer electric plane. Pricing is expected to be cheaper than Uber and the all-electric plane means there are zero emissions. Archer has partnered with United Airlines to deliver its eVTOL jet starting in 2024. Ken Moelis, founder of Moelis & Company is the Chairman of the Board.
  • Joby Aviation (NYSE: RTP) is headquartered in Santa Cruz, CA. Joby’s electric plane transports four passengers up to 150 miles at 200 miles per Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, is an investor and board member of Joby. Joby’s investor base includes Toyota, Intel, jetBlue, and Capricorn. Joby has a first mover advantage already receiving the first military airworthiness approval for an eVTOL jet. Joby expects revenue beginning in 2025.
  • Lilium (NYSE: QELL) offers the highest capacity (7-seater) and lowest noise eVTOL jet in the Lilium’s investor base includes global technology investors including Tencent and Baillie Gifford. For $65, Lilium expects its jet can transport customers from JFK to NYC. For $200, Lilium’s jet is expected to provide service to the Hamptons from NYC. Lilium forecasts is 7-seat jet to cost $2.5 million while projecting $5 million of revenue per jet per year based on earning $15,000 in revenue per jet per day with each jet traveling 1,500 miles per day. Lilium is also working on a 16-seat jet as well. Revenue from this business model is expected in 2024.
  • Vertical Aerospace (NYSE: BSN) proposes an eVTOL jet with a capacity of 5 people with zero carbon dioxide emissions that can travel 100+miles at an operating cost of $1.06 per seat The investor base of Vertical Aerospace includes Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, and American Airlines. American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have conditional pre-orders for up to 300 aircrafts with a targeted delivery date in 2024.

Battery Storage

The high energy density and lightweight nature of lithium batteries has helped to decarbonize the transportation and utility sectors. In the transportation sector, battery storage has propelled EV’s from a concept to approximately 2% of the global electric feet today. In the utility sector, battery storage technology is used

when the intermittent energy sources like wind and solar are unavailable expanding the use of wind and solar generation. In general, lithium-ion batteries are able to store electricity for up to 4 hours. The world’s largest battery energy storage system is in Monterey County California owned by Vistra. The Moss landing energy storage facility is connected to power grid and began operating on December 11, 2020 with capacity of 300 MW/1200 MWH. Moss uses 4,500 stacked battery racks each with 22 individual battery modules.

Currently, lithium-ion is the primary chemistry used for battery storage accounting for 93% of storage capacity. Some scientists believe that lithium-ion has reached its maximum potential. In addition, expanded use of lithium-ion batteries increase the need of lithium and cobalt. Chile, Australia, and China account for 85% of the lithium supply and 70% of global cobalt output comes from the Republic of Congo12.

Technological advancements in battery storage are the most significant energy technology that could change the game accelerating the pace of decarbonization. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts energy storage market to grow to 1095 GW and 2,850 GWh by 2040 requiring $660 billion in investment over the next two decades13. Improved battery technology reduces battery anxiety likely increasing the adoption rate of EV transportation. In addition, larger battery capacity increases the amount of time that energy can be stored which increases use of solar and wind for electricity.

Table 3 below highlights the former SPACs that are looking to capture market share in the growing battery storage market using new and existing battery chemistries including:

Table 3 – Battery Storage Former SPACs

Source: Company filings as of 6/30/2021
  • QuantumScape (NYSE: QS) is developing a next generation battery chemistry that could significantly advance the utilization of battery storage. Lithium-ion appears to have reached its limits as lithium-ion battery capacity limits the range of many electric vehicles today to less than 300 miles creating range anxiety for current and future electric vehicle owners. Quantumscape has developed a lithium-metal-solid-state battery technology that could revolutionize battery storage. Solid-state batteries offer greater battery capacity, longer life, faster charging and greater safety when compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. Solid state batteries have the potential to change the transportation sector similar to how Microsoft Windows changed the computing industry. Quantumscape has a partnership with Volkswagen and is building a pilot facility to manufacturer solid-state battery cells. The key difference is between the lithium-ion and solid state batteries is the host material. Solid state batteries increase the battery capacity by eliminating the host material reducing the size and weight of the battery cell. A solid- state battery increases the range of an EV passenger car by 50% to over 450 miles. In addition, solid-state batteries can charge 80% in 15 minutes compared to hours for lithium-ion batteries. Solid-state chemistry has been endorsed by Stanley Whittingham who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing lithium ion batteries based on Quatumscape’s test data and demonstration. Tech investors are also embracing the potential for solid state batteries with Bill Gates investing in Quantumscape. Quantumscape must prove that it can layer multiple batteries together and that it can to mass produce its battery technology. This will require investor patience as material revenues (>$100 million) won’t be reached until 2026. Quantumscape’s initial target market will be electric vehicles. However, solid state batteries could be used to store electricity as well. In the future, solid-state batteries may allow electricity to be stored for days rather than hours.
  • Microvast (NYSE: THCB) is focused on providing an ultra-fast charging lithium-ion battery solution for commercial vehicles. Microvast lithium-ion batteries recharge in 10 -20 Microvast is growing revenues at an annual pace of 60% through 2027. Microvast plans to expand its revenue sources beyond commercial vehicles starting in 2024 by selling battery component parts (separator and cathode) to passenger vehicle battery manufacturers.
  • Romeo Systems (NYSE: RMO) manufactures lithium-ion batteries for commercial vehicles. Romeo believes its battery capacity is the highest amongst its Romeo is the primary battery provider for Nikola vehicles representing 66% of Romeo’s 2022 revenues and will be a supplier for Lion EV Buses. Romeo was founded by leaders from Tesla, SpaceX, Amazon, and Apple.
  • Stem (NYSE: STPK) touts itself as the first pure play smart energy storage company. Stem sells traditional battery hardware that stores energy using lithium-ion batteries. In fact, Stem has contracted the largest amount of storage capacity with 600 megawatt hours under contract or 75% market share in California. Competitors include: Tesla, Hyundai Electric and Fluence Energy. In addition to hardware, Stem offers its customers Athena. Athena is a proprietary software that analyzes multiple factors impacting the electricity grid. The software allows commercial and industrial customers to make better economic decisions when to release energy from their Stem battery back onto the grid and when to re- charge the battery.
  • Eos Energy Enterprises (NYSE: EOSE) creates low cost battery storage solutions for the electric utility industry. The Eos battery is a zinc battery chemistry that stores electricity for three to twelve- Eos batteries are sold to wind and solar generators looking to balance the grid. Zinc batteries are manufactured in the U.S. and do not require lithium and cobalt. Zinc batteries are lower cost than lithium- ion as zinc battery systems don’t require equipment to control temperature (HVAC and heating needed to lithium-ion) or fire suppression equipment.
  • Freyer Clean Battery Solutions (NYSE: ALUS) is a developer of clean battery cell materials. Freyer produces battery cell materials such as cathode, anode electrolyte, and separator materials that make up 32% of a lithium-ion battery. The battery cells are manufactured in Norway. Freyer is building four gigafactories by 2025 and six gigafactories by 2028 in Its Norway locations utilizes renewable energy to power its gigafactories that produce its battery materials.
  • ESS Inc. (NYSE: GWH) is a provider of long-duration energy storage using an iron flow chemistry. Iron flow chemistry is expected to be cheaper than lithium-ion with a better track record of safely operating. ESS has partnered with Munich RE to launch industry first insurance coverage of flow batteries meaning that the battery modules come with up to 10 year extended warranty backed by Munich
  • Solid Power (NYSE: DCRC) employs the same solid-state battery technology similar to Quantumscape discussed above. Solid Power batteries remained charged longer and weight less than traditional Solid Power batteries are also safer than lithium-ion batteries as they use a solid electrolyte instead of a flammable liquid. Solid Power solid-state batteries are differentiated from Quantumscape in the choice of electrolyte. Solid Power uses sulfide electrolyte material that is expected to have higher conductivity between the anode and cathode as well as is easier to mass produce compared to the ceramic oxide electrolyte material used by Quantumscape.

Charging Stations

EV charging stations are essential infrastructure as the adoption rate of electric vehicles accelerates. There are approximately 44,418 charging stations with 113,385 charging ports available today14. Public charging ports are classified in three categories including:

  • Level 1 (2% of total) – standard wall outlet of 120 volts that takes 20 – 40 hours to recharge
  • Level 2 (81% of total) – typical EV plug in homes and garages of 240 volts requiring 5 – 11 hours to recharge
  • Level 3 or DCFC (17%) – DC fast 360 volts. Quickest way to charge requiring 30 minutes to 1 hour to recharge

The global EV market is expected to grow at a 31% CAGR from 2020 through 2030. By 2030, EV sales are projected to account for almost 30% of all global vehicles sales. An increase in the number of EVs on the road requires expansion of the public charging network. The rise in EV sales is expected to require a 24x expansion of U.S. public charging port network to 2.4 million ports by 2040.

Table 4 below highlights the four former SPACs that offer investors a pure-play ways to invest charging stations.

Table 4 – EV Charging Stations

Source: Company filings as of 6/30/2021

Each one of the EV charging stocks is differentiated. The key differences between the various companies are as follows:

A sixth former SPAC that is included in the charging stations category is NUVVE Corporation (NYSE: NBAC). NUUVE is a start-up focused on vehicle-to-grid or (V2G) technology discussed above. NUVVE’s technology monitors the EV battery power and regulates it based on customers ultimate daily usage need managed by the EV owner via a mobile fleet app. NUVVE has pilot projects underway in Africa, Europe, and the U.S.

Autonomous Vehicles Components (AVs)

Autonomous vehicle, self-driving car, driverless cars are all terms used to describe a significant innovation that could disrupt the transportation sector. Technology companies such as Tesla, Google, Uber, Microsoft, and Apple have experimented in development of autonomous vehicles. In addition, major automakers continue to commit research and development dollars to develop fully autonomous vehicles.

Waymo is the leading autonomous vehicle operator in the world. Waymo is preparing to launch a robotaxi service in California. Cruise, owned by General Motors, is preparing to launch a similar service.

A technology that is key to the future success of autonomous vehicles is LIDAR, an acronym for light detection and ranging. LIDAR is the technology used to control and navigate anything autonomous including passenger vehicles, delivery trucks, taxis, robots, etc.

Seven companies provide investors access to pure-play LIDAR technology stocks that became publicly traded via SPAC including:

NYSE: VLDR - Headquartered in San Jose, CA, Velodyne invented real-time 3D Lidar and its technology is currently used in AVs, advanced driver assistance systems, robotics and industrial, mapping, shuttles, smart city, delivery. The company forecasts 77% annual revenue growth through 2024 in last mile delivery and robotaxi technology applications.

NYSE: LAZR – Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Luminar’s stated goal is to make autonomous transportation sae and ubiquitous. Luminar’s target market is passenger vehicles, trucking, and robo-taxis that utilize its 93 patents. The company’s investor base includes legendary tech investors Peter Thiel, Alec Gores, Go-Pro founder Nick Woodman. Annual revenue is forecasted to grow by 103% through 2024.

NYSE: AEVA – Led by the former head of the sensing program at Apple, Aeva’s 4D LIDAR technology is marketed as the most advanced data capturing sensing solution. Aeva’s technology uses a chip rather than a device that industry leader Velodyne manufactures. AEVA believes its technology placed on a chip will make its product the lowest cost Lidar solution. VW has invested in Aeva and is considering Aeva’s prouct for 2024 production. Aeva’s primary market will be autos.

NYSE: CGRO – Based in Israel, Innoviz LIDAR technology has been selected by BMV for its fully electric autonomous car program. Innoviz believes its technology will be the first to be deployed in consumer vehicles. Innoviz forecasts autonomous vehicles could become a reality by 2029 – 2030. Innoviz products are designed for automakers, robotaxis, shuttle, and delivery companies. Investors include SoftBank Ventures Asia, Samsung, and Aptiv.

NYSE: OUST – Ouster creates products using LIDAR technology. Ouster touts itself as a low cost technology provider that caters to a broad array of customers including industrails, robotics, smart infrastructure, and automotive.

NYSE: CFAC – Aeye slogan is “Think like a robot, perceive like a human.” Aeye believes its LIDAR technology has tested the best a detection of things like pedestrians, brick walls, and other vehicles. Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick is Chairman of the Board and investors include Kleiner Perkins.

NYSE: CCAC – Quanenergy provides next-generation solid state LIDAR solutions. Quanenergy believes its developed the most reliable and lowest cost LIDAR solution to advance driveless cars in the automotive industry.


Other includes four current SPACs that represent approximately 3% of the total former SPAC market cap. Stocks included in this category include the following:

  • Archaea Energy (NYSE: RICE) operates nine renewable natural gas (RNG) Archaea primarily captures methane from landfills and processes it into renewable natural gas used for transportation, electricity or combined with other technologies to produce green hydrogen. Archaea is one of the few former SPACs that generated positive EBITDA in 2020.
  • ReNew Power (NYSE: RMBG) is India’s largest renewable energy company and the 12th largest wind and solar operator in the world based on net (operational + committed) capacity of 10
  • Li-Cylce (NYSE: PDAC) is largest lithium-ion battery recycler in North America. 
  • Origin (NYSE: AACQ) uses bio-feedstocks such as pulp waste, cardboard, wood chips, whole cane, and rice hulls to produce petrochemicals like chloro-methyl-furfural (CMF) used to manufacture textiles, fabrics, paints, tires, and agricultural products. 
  • Sunlight Financial (SPRQ) provides financing for installation of residential solar systems.

Before concluding, there are several other energy-technologies that are not yet represented via SPACs. Energy-technologies such as carbon capture, renewable natural gas, renewable diesel, and hydrogen infrastructure including electrolyzers could make a significant contribution toward accelerating the pace of decarbonization as well.


Technology and innovation will drive the pace of decarbonization. The economic incentives to disrupt the global energy sector are in place as an over $11 trillion total addressable market is significant. The social benefits of achieving net zero by 2050 are momentous. Energy-technology stocks that became publicly- traded entities via a SPAC offer an opportunity to invest in several pure-play technologies that have the potential to change the game over the next decade.

SPAC Universe

Below is a list of former SPACs that have become energy-technology companies as well as current SPACs that have identified target companies as of June 30, 2021.

Table 5 Listed Energy-Technology Companies that started as SPACs

SPAC Ticker SPAC Name De-SPAC Ticker De-SPAC Company Name  Sector
FIII Forum Merger III Corporation ELMS Electric Last Mile Solutions EV Transportation
ACTC Arclight Clean Transition Corporation PTRA Proterra EV Transportation
SBE Switchback Energy Acquisition Corporation CHPT ChargePoint Charging Station
CLA Colonnade Acquistion Corporation OUST Ouster Inc Autonomous Vehicles Components
CGRO Collective Growth Corporation INVZ Innoviz Technologies Autonomous Vehicles Components
STPK Star Peak Energy Transition Corporation STEM Stem Battery Storage
NGA Northern Genesis Acquistion Corporation LEV Lion Electric EV Transportation
CIIC CIIG Merger Corporation ARVL Arrival EV Transportation
NBAC Newboard Acquisition Corporation NVVE Nuvve Corporation Charging Station
IPV InterPrivate Acquistion Corporation AEVA Aeva, Inc Autonomous Vehicles Components
KCAC Kensington Capital Corporation QS Quantumscape Corporation Battery Storage
RMG RMG Acquisition Corporation RMO Romeo Systems Inc. Battery Storage
 PIC  Pivotal Investment Corporation II  XL  XL Fleet  EV Transportation 
 BMRG  B. Riley Principal Merger Corporation II  EOSE  Eos Energy Enterprises  Battery Storage
 GMHI  Gores Metropoulos  LAZR  Luminar  Autonomous Vehicles Components 
 HCACU  Hennessy Capital Acquistion Corporation IV  GOEV  Canoo  EV Transportation
 DPHC  DiamondPeak Holdings Cororation  RIDE  Lordstown  EV Transportation 
 SPAQ  Spartan Energy Acquistion Corporation  FSR  Fisker  EV Transportation 
 GRAF  Graf Industrial  VLDR  Velodyne Lidar  Autonomous Vehicles Components 
 SHLL  Tortoise Acquistion Corporation  HYLN  Hyliion Corporation  EV Transportation 
 VTIQ  VectorIQ Acquisition Corporation  NKLA  Nikola Corporation EV Transportation


Table 6 Listed Energy-Technology Companies that are currently SPACs with identified targets

SPAC Ticker SPAC Name Post-Business Combination Ticker De-SPAC Company Name (once business combination is complete)  Sector
CCAC CITIC Capital Acquisition Corporation QNGY Quanenergy Autonomous Vehicles Components
DCRC Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III SLDP Solid Power Battery Storage
BSN Broadstone Acquisition Corporation EVTL Vertical Aerospace EV Transportation
KCAC Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. II WBX Wallbox Charging Station
DCRN Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation II DCFC Tritium Charging Station
STWO ACON S2 GWH ESS Inc Battery Storage
RICE Rice Acquistion Corporation LFG Archaea Energy Renewable Natural Gas
QELL Qell Acquisition Corporation LILM Lilium GmbH EV Transportation
RMGB RMG Acquistion Corporation II RNWLCID ReNew Power Wind and Solar Generation
RTP Reinvent Technology Partners   Joby Aviation EV Transportation
CCIV Churchill Capital IV LCID Lucid Motors EV Transportation
NGAC NextGen Acquisition Corporation XOS XOS EV Transportation
AACQ Artius Acquisition Inc. ORGN Origin Renewable Chem
CFAC CF Finance Acquisition Corp II   Aeye Autonomous Vehicles Components
PDAC Peridot Acquisition Corporation LICY Li-Cycle Lithium-ion recycler
ACIC Atlas Crest Investment Corporation ACHR Archer Aviation EV Transportation
DCRB Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation HYZN Hyzon EV Transportation
SNPR Tortoise Acquisition Corporation II VLTA Volta Charging Station
THCB Tuscan Holdings Corporation MVST Microvast Battery Storage
ALUS Alussa Energy Acquistion Corporation FREY FREYER Clean Battery Solutions Battery Storage
PSAC Property Solutions Acquisition Corporation FFIE Faraday Future EV Transportation
SPRQ Spartan Acquisition Corporation II SUNL Sunlight Financial Rooftop Solar
CLII Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corp EVGO EV Go Charging Station
TPGY TPG Pace Beneficial Finance Corporation EVB EVBox Group Charging Station


SPAC Universe

The list below highlights current SPACs that have yet to identify an energy-technology company to merge with.

Table 7 Current SPACs

SPAC Ticker SPAC Name
ACTDU ArcLight Clean Transition Corporation II
CLIM Climate Real Impact Solutions II Acquisition Corporation
DCRN Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation II
ENNV ECP Environmental Growth Opportunities Corporation
ESMU ESM Acquisition Corporation
EUSG European Sustainable Growth Acquisition Corporation
FRSG First Reserve Sustainable Growth Corporation
GMBT Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital
KCAC Kensington Capital Acquisition Corporation II
NGAB Northern Genesis Acquisition Corporation II
RMGC RMG Acquisition Corporation III
SDAC Sustainable Development Acquisition I Corporation
SPAQ Spartan Acquisition Corporation III
TETCU Tech and Energy Transition Corporation
WARR Warrior Technologies Acquisition Corporation
XPDI Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition Corporation

SPAC Landscape


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