After facing the Covid-19 crisis, the French auto industry and electric vehicle (EV) segment thrives and continues to accelerate the automotive industry’s ecological transition. 

In 2019, when the industry was witnessing a global decline, EV sales in France were up over 128% and just in the first seven months of 2020, electric cars were deemed for nearly 18% of new-car registrations.

Plug-in hybrids and electric cars have risen in popularity in France, increasing from 2.5% of all vehicles sold in 2019 to 7.5% to date. The increase in sales has noticeably been associated with the electric bonuses granted under the country’s recovery plan. 

Furthermore, as a part of the post-Covid economic recovery plan, the French government has set up a system to help acquire less polluting vehicles. This electric car bonus aims to 

  • support households by providing them with purchasing power
  • support a sector that has also suffered the crisis
  • To have electric vehicles cheaper and more available to the French. 

Here are the Top 10 EV startups in France:

10. Effigear

  • Founder: David Rouméas and Vincent Lecornu
  • Founding Year: 2020 
  • Headquarters: Maclas, Rhone-Alpes, France
  • Funding Received: US$ 370K
  • Lead Investor:  Holding Roule

Bicycle gearbox expert, the company EFFIGEAR, based in Maclas in the Loire department in France, and Valeo, the specialist in new mobility, have co-developed a bicycle transmission solution that is revolutionising the electric bicycle.

9. EP Tender

  • Founder: Jean-Baptiste Segard
  • Founding Year: 2021 
  • Headquarters: Poissy, Ile-de-France, France
  • Funding Received: US$ 1.1 Million 
  • Lead Investor: EASME – EU Executive Agency for SMEs

EP Tender is a modular range-extending service for electric vehicles. It is an electric generator mounted on a small trailer and available for on-demand rental. It develops the machines and services, backed by the expertise of the local companies ecosystem. Our talents are focused on mechanical design and tuning, electrical system development and integration, design and coding of the control algorithms, modelling and managing the rental platform and network, and equipping our client cars with the additional charging interface.

8. Ze-Watt

  • Founder: Eric Gaigneux and Jean Arhainx
  • Founding Year: 2015 
  • Headquarters: Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees, France
  • Funding Received: US$ 1.2 Million
  • Lead Investor: MPcroissance

Ze-Watt focuses on providing electric vehicle charging solutions. The company offers commercial EV charging solutions for companies and their employees. The company has developed charging points which it leases or sells to businesses. The company has also developed a web-based and mobile-based platform that helps employees of the firms to charge their vehicles. The platform authenticates users with an access code, and the employee is authorised for the electricity at the rate set by the company.

7. Zembo 

  • Founder: Daniel Dreher
  • Founding Year: 2018 
  • Headquarters: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
  • Funding Received: US$ 1.5 Million
  • Lead Investor: EEP Africa

Zembo provides affordable electric motorcycles for motorcycle taxi drivers in Africa. The company assembles and leases solar-powered motorcycles on a pay-as-you-go model with the possibility of owning the asset after two years.

6. Ecovelo

  • Founder: Sebastien Bourbousson
  • Founding Year: 2013
  • Headquarters: Nantes, Pays de la Loire, France
  • Funding Received: US$ 2.35 Million
  • Lead Investor: GO CAPITAL and Banque des Territoires

EcoVélo is a turn-key solution for self-service electric bikes for cities. With onboard technology, XXL ticketing revolutionises the use of self-service bicycles. It is available in classic and electric versions wherein the latter can be installed sans civil engineering or electrification of terminals. Users can choose from a wide range of vehicles designed for self-service, such as city bikes, electric bikes, mountain bikes, cargo bikes and more. The box fitted on these bikes provides access to various functions such as NFC, GPS, screen keyboard interface, updates, and assistance levels, among others.

5. Knave

  • Founder: Edouard Vaujour and Jérôme Beillevaire
  • Founding Year: 2019
  • Headquarters: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
  • Funding Received: US$ 11.74 Million
  • Lead Investor: ACOFI

Knave provides a Mass Market turn-key solution for B2B clients wishing to add a rental service to their historical activities. Knave services include B2C mobile application, fleet financing and lease-back, fleet management system, asset insurance and customer care services. This service is already deployed in mobility and can be applied to any asset. The startup’s current B2B clients are car manufacturers, hotels and hospitality groups.

4. SeaBubbles

  • Founder: Alain Thebault and Anders Bringdal
  • Founding Year: 2015 
  • Headquarters: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
  • Funding Received: US$ 12.4 Million
  • Lead Investor: MAIF Avenir, EASME – EU Executive Agency for SMEs, and Partech

SeaBubbles is a flying water car ecosystem. The Bubble is a 100% electric Water Flying Car, using the foiler technology for ultimate energy efficiency: zero wave, zero noise, zero-emission. SeaBubbles will be operated as a water taxi service, which requires a network of mooring stations for boarding/unboarding passengers and charging the vessels.

3. Velco

  • Founder: Johnny Smith, Pierre Regnier and Romain Savouré
  • Founding Year: 2015 
  • Headquarters: Nantes, Pays de la Loire, France
  • Funding Received: US$ 15.9 Million
  • Lead Investor: FINANCIERE FONDS PRIVES, Mirai Ventures, GO CAPITAL, Chalus Chegaray & Compagnie and 3 other financial backers 

Velco integrates all the skills to accompany and reveal its customers in a tailor-made approach. The startup attends mobility professionals to accelerate its development thanks to its connectivity solutions. It has developed its tracking technology for mobility professionals. The Wink Bar connected handlebar design has propelled Velco to the rank of an expert in geolocation and associated services. 2 technology patents protect the connected handlebar, which has won numerous prizes and awards in international innovation competitions. Tracking technology continues to evolve to meet all mobility stakeholders’ current and future needs, with a whole range of services developed and enriched every day by their team of experts.

2. Electra

  • Founder: Augustin Derville, Aurélien Meaux, Julien Belliato and Maxime Garcia
  • Founding Year: 2021
  • Headquarters: Paris, Ile-de-France, France 
  • Funding Received: US$ 17.6 Million
  • Lead Investor: Serena, Thibault Chassagne, Demba Diallo with 5 others

Electra is a platform that provides Charging stations Ultrafast for electric vehicles. With their belief in the future to be electric blue, the startup is operating with the mission of switching to all-electric, driven by environmental standards and the dazzling progress of batteries which today make it possible to cover distances equivalent to a full tank of gasoline. It also offers services like reservation, which is a central feature of Electra. The app allows users to book the charging point and drive quietly to their station, knowing that the charging station is waiting for them.

1. EasyMile

  • Founder: Gilbert Gagnaire and Philippe Ligier
  • Founding Year: 2014
  • Headquarters: Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees, France
  • Funding Received: US$ 90.6 Million
  • Lead Investor: Bpifrance, NextStage, Continental and 3 others

EasyMile is a high-tech startup specialising in software powering autonomous vehicles and the last mile smart mobility solutions. EasyMile partners with blue-chip manufacturers to autonomic their vehicles with award-winning technology built on safety-by-design, ready for deployment today, with clear client benefits. The company’s cutting-edge technology is revolutionising passenger and goods transportation, offering utterly new mobility options. Clients include the world’s largest transport operators, city authorities, airports, corporations, business parks, and universities.

EasyMile is headquartered in Toulouse (France), with offices in Singapore and Denver (USA). It also operates through value-added resellers, notably in Japan and the Middle East.

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