GKN Driveline expands into electric motors

24 June 2011 #SMMT News

GKN Driveline, the world’s leading supplier of automotive driveline systems and solutions, has formed a joint venture with EVO Electric, a UK pioneer in advanced electric drive solutions for the automotive sector.

The new business, GKN EVO eDrive Systems, will manufacture and sell axial flux electric motors and drive systems for use in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, in a move that has seen GKN acquire 25.1% of EVO Electric.

GKN will also provide financing in a combination of debt and equity together with engineering and commercial resources to enable the establishment and growth of the joint venture and the total value of GKN’s investment at closing is £5 million consideration in cash.

EVO Electric develops and manufactures advanced electric machines, hybrid drive trains and generator sets for a wide range of transportation and mobile power applications. The core competence is the design and integration of high torque electric motors and generators based on axial flux technology, enabled by innovations in materials, design and manufacturing. EVO Electric’s proprietary axial flux technology provides significant benefits in torque and power density, efficiency and cost compared to conventional radial flux machines. Alongside the transmission, batteries and power electronics, the electric motor is one of the four core ‘building blocks’ of an electric vehicle’s powertrain.

GKN Driveline is already a pioneer in the development and supply of eTransmissions and eAxles for hybrid and electric vehicles. This venture will enable GKN Driveline to offer advanced axial flux motors and generators, adding to its existing eDrive Systems portfolio and enhancing its capability in full driveline systems, in response to the demands of its customers.

GKN EVO eDrive Systems aims to capture a share of the rapidly growing market for hybrid and electric vehicle systems. In a recent study by McKinsey & Co., (the international management consultancy), the global market for electric motors alone is estimated to be more than €20 billion by 2020.

“This strategic addition will enhance GKN Driveline’s ability to meet its customers’ needs in drivetrain electrification,” said Nigel Stein, CEO of GKN Driveline. “It is aligned with our strategy of supporting vehicle manufacturers as they search for fuel savings and reduced CO2 emissions through hybrid and electric drive vehicles.” 

“This alliance with one of the automotive world’s leading ‘Tier One’ suppliers and a leader in electric-drive axle and transmission technology represents a major break-through for us,” said David Latimer, CEO of EVO Electric. “It will be pivotal in establishing EVO as a key player in the fast-growing global market for electric drive components.”

The joint venture will be headquartered in the UK and will leverage state-of-the-art technology and expertise in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric drivetrains from both partners.

To download SMMT’s Electric Car Guide 2011, click here.

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