A couple other transportation companies made the list too.
Time magazine put out its latest 100 Most Influential Companies. The list is filled with sections for pioneers, leaders, innovators and titans. You'd recognize a bunch of these companies, many of which grew even larger during the pandemic. Disney makes an appearance, as does Netflix. Google, Facebook, Zoom, Alibaba and Amazon are obviously in, though we don't get a ranking for each like the magazine's person of the year.
To create the list, "Time solicited nominations across sectors including health care, entertainment, transportation, technology and more from our global network of editors and correspondents, as well as from industry experts. Then, we evaluated each one on key factors, including relevance, impact, innovation, leadership, ambition and success."
The transportation sector is what we're most concerned with here. A few small companies made the list, along with a few big ones, starting with General Motors.
GM was chosen because it's company "is playing serious catchup in the electric-vehicle game," which is true. Until recently with the Lyriq and GMC Hummer, it was behind the times. Time magazine notes that the company sold just 21,000 EVs last year. It's also playing defense against Volkswagen, who also made the list. Time interviewed CEO Mary Barra who said of Tesla "There's really no self-driving vehicles out on the road right now other than in pilots like we have with Cruise. They're driver-assist systems. [When] we talk about GM's Super Cruise, we keep it hands-on. We make sure you're paying attention to the road and you're engaged in the driving process because you're still responsible."
Barra also said that the company's switch on CARB laws between presidential administrations was more complicated than it seemed. The CEO said she spoke with the previous president, and always talked about the importance of EVs in their meetings. She reiterated that there should be one national standard, but that her statement wasn't interpreted properly.
Volkswagen is the other main automaker that sells cars in the American market, and made the list. That company was picked for the speed at which it picked up EVs like the ID.4 after 2015's diesel scandal. VW has put $54 billion away for electric projects just for the next five years. It's currently planning to build six battery factories and 18,000 charging stations in Europe. And in 2020 it sold 231,600 electric vehicles, three times more than last year and ten times more than GM.
If you're into cars, and we're guessing you are, you've probably heard something about Chinese manufacturer BYD. It made a few appearances in the US at auto shows but made the list because of its push for EVs and its Warren Buffet backing.
The company's sales of battery electric vehicles shrunk by 11% in 2020, but demand for BYD's new sedan is rising. The company also manufactures electric buses in the US and Europe, and is building another electric bus loop in Japan.
It covers other transportation segments too including rail systems, battery systems for goods and for storage, and other components for handheld electronics. Its shares are up more than 300% in the last 12 months.
That's it for the main most-influential automakers, but we would like to highlight a few others. First, Rad Power Bikes. Rad builds fun-to-ride electric bicycles, which saw a huge spike last year as people were looking to get off the couch and into the world. One we tested a while ago cruised at 25 mph easily. It offers several different models and just grabbed $150 million in the latest round of funding. It plans to double its staff in 2021.
We'll throw a final shout out to UPS, who delivered 25 million packages a day in the final months of 2020. A day! Online shopping went nuts last year, more than it already had been, because no one wanted to leave the house.
A lot of influential carmakers have a lot of big things coming in 2021, we'd like to see a few more make the list next year.