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Hunt for the next Tesla fuel wave of electric car deals

(Bloomberg) – Wall Street’s occupation of electric vehicles touches a new round of public lists, helping tech companies create partnerships with powerful allies.

Proterra Inc., which manufactures electric buses and battery systems, said Tuesday it will be announced through acquisition firm ArcLight Clean Transition Corp., the latest in a wave of deals between automakers and SPACs. It comes when Lucid Motors Inc. has been in negotiations to be disclosed through one of Michael Klein’s blank check companies, according to people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Plug Power Inc. and Renault SA a project to build hydrogen-powered vans.

EV company ratings rise sharply as investors chase the next Tesla Inc., which saw its market value reach a record high of $ 834 billion last week, topping Facebook Inc. The mania is even lifted to eye-level companies with no revenue to speak of ̵

1; such as Nikola Corp. and Lordstown Motors Corp. Plug, which for 20 years has never reported an annual profit, is now worth more than $ 29 billion – up from $ 1.2 billion a year ago.

“It’s an extremely hot sector – it’s red hot,” said Pavel Molchanov, an energy analyst at Raymond James & Associates. “Battery technology is becoming more and more efficient, charging infrastructure continues to evolve and spread, and there are many more vehicle models for buyers to choose from.”

Read more: EV-Tech Company Proterra is announced through ArcLight SPAC

It’s not just Tesla that has inspired investors to pile in clean vehicles. Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election promises to be a boon for the emissions-free transportation industry. During the campaign last summer, then-candidate Biden indicated stronger government support for plug-in vehicles as part of a broader push to combat global warming.

“There is this global interest in clean transportation,” said Katie Bays, CEO of Policy Consulting FiscalNote Markets. “Investing in pure transport companies is not an extreme problem. It’s very mainstream. ”

Electric vehicle stocks surpassed the broader market on Tuesday after Xpeng Inc. received a $ 2 billion line of credit from Chinese banks, and the ongoing CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, contributed to a growing buzz about electric cars, with General Motors Co. advertised plans to push into electric commercial vehicles.

Xpeng led the package with its US depository receipts rising as much as 17% followed by strong gains from Li Auto Inc., Nikola Corp. and Tesla Inc.

The lucid transaction could be valued at up to $ 15 billion, according to people familiar with the case, who asked not to be identified because it is private. The EV manufacturer, backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is targeting the luxury end of the market, and its CEO, Peter Rawlinson, was formerly Tesla’s chief engineer on the Model S sedan.

Proterra, meanwhile, is the latest EV maker to go public through a SPAC merger as the investor’s appetite for EVs gets hotter. Blank check companies like ArcLight Clean have emerged as a preferred way to raise capital, with SPACs raising a record $ 79.2 billion. $ 2020 to become one of the largest segments of IPOs during the year. Nikola and Fisker Inc. was also announced via SPAC offerings last year.

ArcLight Clean’s shares rose as much as 92%.

“This is truly a turning point in the industry,” Jack Allen, Proterra’s chairman and CEO, said in an interview. “Making a SPAC allows us to go faster and really be able to accelerate the investments that lie ahead of us in all three of our business segments that drive revenue today.”

See also: Renault, Plug Power Form Venture for hydrogen delivery trucks

Plug Power’s venture with Renault is the latest huge deal for the Latham, New York-based company that has spent decades cutting a niche for hydrogen fuel cells that produce electricity through an electrochemical process rather than combustion.

Last week, Plug announced an investment of 1.5 billion. $ From South Korea’s SK Group to promote the technology throughout Asia. When produced with renewable energy and used in a fuel cell, hydrogen can deliver energy without greenhouse gas emissions, making it a potentially potent weapon in the fight against climate change.

Plug and Renault will offer both the vehicles and hydrogen fuel stations to deliver them, according to a statement Tuesday. They aim to start production in early 2022 at an existing Renault plant in France and build tens of thousands of light commercial vehicles annually by 2030. Financial details were not disclosed.

“We have the vehicles, we have the service, we have the stations – everything you need to be successful,” said Plug CEO Andy Marsh in an interview.

(Adds valuations in fourth, eighth, and ninth paragraphs.)

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