Electric vehicles

Expert Voices

What's behind the boom in automotive semiconductor startups

Illustration of a semiconductor chip
Illustration:Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A slew of semiconductor startups are gaining traction in the automotive industry, some of which even have funding from automakers and suppliers — a development that signals a major shift in this space.

The big picture: Startups hoping to enter the automotive chip market used to encounter skeptical manufacturers and an industry that frowned upon cash-poor startups. But demand for innovation in connectivity, sensor technology and processing capability has opened the field up for them.

Expert Voices

Chinese electric buses help Chile reduce emissions, improve trade ties

Electric buses on the road in Santiago, Chile
Chinese-made electric buses in Santiago, Chile. Photo: Claudio Reyes/AFP/Getty Images

A recent delivery of 200 electric buses from Chinese manufacturers BYD and Yutong, with more orders to come, is advancing Chile's goals for electric-powered public transit — 80% by 2022 and 100% by 2040.

Why it matters: Chile is electrifying transportation to help clean its air, reduce urban noise pollution, cut oil imports and add more renewables to its energy mix. Moving toward electric mobility is also a way for Chile to tighten its trade ties with China, the dominant player in the global electric bus market.