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GKN targets €20bn EV motors market with axial-flux JV
Published:  23 June, 2011

The automotive supplier GKN Driveline, has formed a joint venture with EVO Electric, a UK pioneer in advanced electric drives, to produce and sell axial-flux motors and drive systems for hybrid and all-electric vehicles. GKN is investing £5m in cash in the new business, GKN EVO eDrive Systems, and will also take a 25.1% stake in EVO.

EVO Electric was spun off from Imperial College London in 2006 with financial backing from investors including Imperial Innovations. Since then, it has established itself as a supplier of high-torque, high-power motors, generators and integrated drive systems for customers including Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus Cars and Nissan, as well as other clients in the automotive, military and marine industries.

EVO’s axial-flux motors (above) offer a combination of weight, volume, torque, efficiency, control and manufacturing advantages, which are said to provide significant benefits for hybrid and electric drivetrains in terms of torque, power density, efficiency, weight, size and cost compared to conventional radial-flux machines.

The UK-based joint venture will allow GKN to offer advanced motors and generators, in addition to its existing eDrive Systems portfolio of transmissions and axles for hybrid and electric vehicles.
GKN EVO eDrive Systems hopes to capture a share of the rapidly growing market for hybrid and electric vehicle systems. A recent study by the management consultancy McKinsey & Co estimated that the global market for electric motors for EVs will be worth more than €20bn by 2020.

“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 breakthrough for us,” says EVO Electric’s chief executive, David Latimer. “It will be pivotal in establishing EVO as a key player in the fast-growing global market for electric drive components.”

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