Even in a down economy, millions of dollars are flowing into start-up companies working on advanced batteries for plug-in vehicles and methanol fuel cells. Three companies operating in the less-sexy side of the new automotive industry – Seeo, CFX and Oorja Protonics – have all raised millions for their operations.
Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla has not been shy about making his bets on the automotive future known. Wherever there has been an opportunity to invest in or promote advanced ethanol, it seems Khosla was there, giving it at least a cursory look (see, for example, Coskata, which GM also invested in). He even described his "big biofuels bet" back in 2006.