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For more than a century, the transportation industry has been based on fossil fuels. Cars, buses, even airplanes are mostly using oil (and natural gas) as fuel.
In an effort to combat climate change, air pollution (and the fact that we are sooner or later running out of fossil fuels), environment friendly propulsion systems have been gaining ground.
The three defining alternatives to traditional propulsion systems are batteries, hydrogen fuel-cells and biofuels.
Neither of these technologies are new, but they were far from being accepted as an alternative for everyday use.
The reason why there are only car, bus and truck manufacturers in this section, is because the air and water transport industries are only in the early phases of the transition and there are not yet any bigger public companies that derive a meaningful portion of their revenue from these types of products.
Electric Vehicle ETFs
KARSKraneShares Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility Index ETF
DRIVGlobal X Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF
LITGlobal X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF
BATTAmplify Advanced Battery Metals and Materials ETF
Battery powered electric
Three types of battery powered electric vehicles are defined:
  • HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) - A vehicle that is mainly powered by an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine), but it also has a small built-in battery pack.
    These cars have lower emissions and typically cost less to operate, as the car is using energy that would otherwise be lost during transport to charge the batteries, thus requiring less overall fuel.
    As it is shown on the chart above, HEVs make up the majority of battery powered vehicle sales, but their share in the mix has been decreasing.
  • PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) - These vehicles are basically HEVs, but they can be plugged in and the battery can be charged. In essence, for shorter daily commutes, these cars do not have to use their combustion engine.
  • BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) - BEVs use electric motors instead of combustion engines for propulsion. These are also referred to as pure electric.
    The most important drawback to these cars have traditionally been their price because of the huge number of battery packs that they require, as well as their range and the time it takes to charge the batteries.
    However, with the price of Li-ion batteries falling sharply in recent years, these cars are now becoming affordable for everyday people. Their range has been greatly increased, public charging stations are rapidly being installed and the charge times are also much shorter.
    BEVs include - but are not limited to - motorcycles, bicycles, watercraft, forklifts, buses, trucks and cars.

Vehicle manufacturing

We decided that we would only include those manufacturers in this list that derive most of their revenue from electric transportation.
Because of this fact, you will not find any of the traditional manufacturers here, even though most of them now have BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs in their lineup.

EV charging stocks

For the mass adoption of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure needs to be deployed everywhere.
The capacity of the public stations will probably be much lower than what the current fueling station network can handle, as people will usually charge their cars at home, and only rely on these stations if they are on longer trips.
However, equipment is not only required for public stations, but for home charging as well. Charging cables with inverters and other accessories are required in each garage. Thus on the EV charging infrastructure market size chart the total number includes the publicly accessible, as well as home chargers.
This list also includes manufacturers of EV powertrains. EV powertrains are the foundation of the vehicle as they include all propulsion components, like the electric motors.

Battery stocks

Batteries store electrochemical energy, which can then easily be converted into electricity. Multiple types of batteries have existed for more than two centuries and have been used in appliances.
The typical battery has been small, just big enough to power our portable electronic devices, at maximum jump start car engines and power the radio.
But as photovoltaics, wind power and battery-electric vehicles started gaining popularity, the need for bigger and more efficient batteries has become stronger. As a consequence of investments in this field, the price of lithium-ion batteries has been steadily dropping, decreasing by 85% from 2010 to 2018.
The Battery and battery parts manufacturing section lists companies that manufacture batteries, other parts that are required in the manufacturing process or are working on promising new battery technologies.
In our Lithium supply list, we mostly included organizations that operate mines, and a substantial amount of their revenues come from mining and/or refining lithium.
Alternative propulsion
Our list includes hydrogen fuel-cells and biofuels. The adoption of these solutions is growing, but they seem to be taking the back seat to battery electric vehicles.
Buses, trucks, the public, the military, etc. all have their specific requirements for what a vehicle should be capable of, so the long-term simultaneous usage of all of these technologies is a possibility.

Hydrogen fuel-cell stocks

A fuel cell is an electrochemical cell that converts the chemical energy of a fuel (mostly hydrogen) and an oxidizing agent (mostly oxygen) into electricity.
They have been used to power satellites, provide back-up power to whole buildings, network infrastructure and lately in cars and trucks as well.
We decided to include only one vehicle manufacturer (Nikola Corporation), as bascially all of the notable car companies have put money into researching FCEVs (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles) and most of them have even built production vehicles, but it still makes up only a fraction of their revenues.
The companies in the fuel-cell ecosystem include:
  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Fuel-cell manufacturers
  • Hydrogen producers
  • Companies that transport the hydrogen and operate fueling stations

Biofuel stocks

A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary processes from biomass, rather than a fuel produced by the very slow geological processes involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as oil. Biofuels can be produced from plants or from organic waste.
If the biomass used in the production of biofuel can regrow quickly, the fuel is generally considered to be a form of renewable energy.
In 2018, biofuels provided 3% of the world's fuels for road transport.
Pollution control
No matter how fast alternative propulsion and green energy generation technologies gain ground, we still nearly exclusively use fossil fuel-based fleets and energy plants.
These assets will be with us for decades to come, so as long as pollution control technologies can be improved to work just 0.1% more efficiently, their impact is still huge and are worth the investment.
Most of the companies in the list below manufacture exhaust management equipment, but there are some, that are only involved in industrial pollution control and not in transportation.