December 8, 2022

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automotive

Most Promising Sustainability Startups, According to Top VCs

  • Sustainability is critical to corporations across the globe, especially in the transport sector.
  • There are hundreds of startups working on ways to make transport and logistics sustainable.
  • Here are 36 promising sustainability startups, according to top VCs.

Sustainability in transportation has quickly become a hot space for startups, as giants like Ford, Nestlé, and Amazon, among others, are electrifying their fleets, hoping to make good on corporate ESG targets and public promises to reduce their climate impact. 

But there are more ways to decarbonize transportation than simply electrifying, and meeting carbon-reduction goals will take every strategy available. 

Hundreds of startups are developing different types of fuels, rethinking the electric-car-charging infrastructure, creating new supply-chain tech, and refining methods of battery-material mining and recycling. And some of the most prolific venture capitalists are hoping to ride this shift to big returns. 

Investors are backing sustainable vehicles for the transportation sector in droves, but also ramping up investment in technologies addressing other critical parts of the transition. Greater adoption of alternative vehicles will require new strategies for fleet management and maintenance. The transportation industry at large will need new ways of routing vehicles, new battery chemistries, and new fuels like hydrogen.

And even without swapping out old vehicles for new, technology can help run existing assets more efficiently using routing software, machine learning, and edge computing to reduce downtime and up the utilization of existing space in freight networks. 

Insider talked to 12 VCs at firms like Khosla Ventures, AP Ventures, and Energy Impact Partners, all of whom have made significant bets in the space. Here are their picks for the 36 promising startups racing to make transportation and logistics more sustainable.