Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Adapted from IEA, with data from The Cleantech Group. Note: 2018 is through August. Investments include seed, series A and series B deals. Mobility service, internet-of-things, biochemical and AI startups are excluded unless directly energy-related; Chart: Axios Visuals

Early stage venture capital is increasingly flowing into electric vehicle companies, especially China-based firms, the International Energy Agency writes in a commentary.

By the numbers: Check out the chart above, which shows $3.45 billion of early stage VC money so far this year going into transportation-related startups.

Key quotes:

  • Venture capital investment in energy technologies is flourishing, with more money flowing in 2018 than in the first two quarters of any previous year.
  • But whereas the previous highpoint in 2008 was led by renewables — notably solar — it is now transportation that is getting all the attention, mostly electric vehicles.

Why it matters: At a time when renewables have become a mainstream electricity source, growing capital invested in the transportation space signals EVs are on their way to eventually becoming more than a niche market too.

  • The 2018 data — which IEA collected from The Cleantech Group's tracking service i3 Market Intelligence — continues a transport-focused trend evident last year and described in IEA's broader World Energy Investment report.

Yes, but: This month's IEA commentary by analyst Simon Bennett notes that the money's distribution is limited.

  • He cites the "willingness of investors — especially in Asia — to places a small number of very large bets on electric vehicle companies, which represent the hottest part of the market today."
  • This year has brought announcements of major funding rounds from companies, including Chinese-based firms Youxia Motors and Byton. Byton had announced $500 million in funding in June.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America is anxious, angry and heavily armed

Data: FBI; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Firearms background checks in the U.S. hit a record high in 2020.

The big picture: This past year took our collective arsenal to new heights, with millions of Americans buying guns for the first time. That trend coincides with a moment of peak political and social tension.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.