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Startup Stories: Streamlining Your Electric Vehicle Purchase

A conversation with Joel Li ’25, who has relaunched as a platform that connects electric vehicle shoppers and sellers.

Joel Li next to an sign

In this series, Karen Guzman talks to student and alumni entrepreneurs about how they are making an impact with their startups.

Founder: Joel Li ’25

Venture:, an online electric vehicle (EV) marketplace. The company’s goal is to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles by creating a smoother, faster EV-buying process.

What was the moment when you had the idea for this startup?

Growing up among coal mines, I’ve always been passionate about working on something that positively impacts our environment. I’m also a car enthusiast, especially when it comes to racing. The electric vehicle industry perfectly combines my desire to make a difference with my love for automobiles. When the opportunity to acquire the intellectual property of arose, I knew it was the perfect fit. was originally registered in 1994 as the world’s first online electric vehicle platform. This acquisition presented a unique chance to bring positivity to the world while also having great business potential.

What's the problem you’re trying to solve or the gap that you’re trying to fill?

While EVs represent the future of transportation, the path to 100% EV adoption is still filled with obstacles. We are currently in the early stages of this shift and are witnessing significant gaps in customer education, EV shopping, charging, and ownership experience. By building a dedicated EV platform that connects all the dots, we aim to make the transition much smoother.

The car shopping experience had remained largely unchanged for decades before Tesla popularized its no-haggle, one-price, online shopping model.’s modern infrastructure will enable both sellers and shoppers on the platform to experience a next-generation digital retailing experience powered by AI.

What was the most important resource Yale SOM contributed to your startup?

Yale Ventures, Tsai CITY, and the incredible people at Yale.

What’s the biggest milestone your startup has hit?

As a two-sided marketplace, must attract enough sellers and selection for shoppers to choose among. However, we also maintain very high standards when partnering with sellers on our platform. We want to provide the best possible shopping experience for shoppers, so only selected sellers qualify, which makes the ramp-up relatively slow.

Despite this, momentum has been great. So far, we have partnered with reputable OEM-authorized sellers covering most major brands, such as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford. Most recently, we have partnered with Hertz, the world’s largest EV fleet owner, giving shoppers on access to tens of thousands of affordable EVs across major cities in the U.S.

Joel Li is a recipient of the Claire and Joe Greenberg Scholarship (2023-24)