© Elaphe Propulsion Technologies Electronics Production | October 02, 2020
EIT InnoEnergy invests in Slovenian electric in-wheel drive technology company
EIT InnoEnergy has announced a EUR 4.2 million investment in Elaphe Propulsion Technologies Ltd. (Elaphe), a Slovenian provider of electric in-wheel-drive technology for electric vehicles.
EIT InnoEnergy’s investment will serve as a springboard to secure further growth, while giving Elaphe access to one of the most robust and respected sustainable energy and mobility innovation networks globally. Investment banking firm E. J. McKay advised Elaphe in the transaction, a press release reads. The auto industry has seen a number of important developments over recent decades, from hybridization, to the ongoing switch to electric mobility; Elaphe’s in-wheel powertrain system aims to enable yet another switch, doing away with the traditional centralized architecture of a motor vehicle. Elaphe have developed a fully modular platform, combining the in-wheel powertrain with software capable of optimising each in-wheel motor in real time. The company says that its platform can be easily integrated into a wide range of vehicles, cutting down on manufacturing costs and removing the limitations of traditional centralised powertrains. “The partnership with EIT InnoEnergy strengthens Elaphe’s position both in the EU and globally. The provided investment and support will significantly accelerate commercial activities with automotive OEMs. This in turn will help us further optimise our best-in-class technology platform in accordance with customer requirements for production vehicles,” says Gorazd Lampic, CEO of Elaphe, in the press release. “Therefore, being part of EIT InnoEnergy’s ecosystem gives us a competitive edge both from a technological as well as a business perspective and opens up exciting growth opportunities.” With over 20 different in-wheel motors developed, integrated and tested in more than 50 fully electric and hybrid vehicles, Elaphe is already a player on the in-wheel motor market. Electromagnetic design enables specific torque up to 100 Nm/kg, 200 kW of power per regular car wheel. “We believe Elaphe is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the future of the automotive and transport sectors – a future that is electric and sustainable. Not only is the timing right, and their in-wheel powertrain technology the most advanced in the market and commercially ready – the approach they have taken, developing a highly adaptable platform, will allow them to deliver instantaneous benefit to automotive OEMs and thus have a far-reaching impact on the mobility sector for decades to come,” says EIT InnoEnergy’s Jennifer Dungs, Thematic Field Leader Energy for Transport and Mobility. By increasing the vehicle’s available space and reducing weight the move to in-wheel motors will allow for another level of flexibility in terms of vehicle design. According to different market studies, the total addressable market for in-wheel powertrain by 2030 is predicted to climb from around 1.6 billion Euro in 2025 to around 12 billion Euro in 2030. Customers, however, will not have to wait that long to purchase a vehicle powered by Elaphe’s platform. Several car manufacturers across the globe are already working with Elaphe to apply their in-wheel technology to production vehicles, the press release continues. Those include US start-up Lordstown Motors - an Ohio-based electric truck start-up who has recently purchased the Lordstown production complex from General Motors. Their Endurance pick-up truck has already accrued pre-orders in excess of 40.000 vehicles and is set to start deliveries in 2021.