Deutz Makes Electrification Move

By Mike Osenga27 September 2017

German diesel engine manufacturer Deutz AG, Cologne, has made an interesting move into the world electrification with the acquisition of Torqeedo GmbH, Starnberg, Germany. Torqeedo develops and manufactures electric and hybrid drives up to 134 hp (100 kW), as well as components, software and system integration for electric drives. 

While Torqeedo bills itself as a leader in electric mobility on the water, specifically integrated electric and hybrid drives for boats, it appears Deutz has larger aspirations for that technology. 

Dr. Frank Hiller, chairman of the board of management of Deutz AG said, “acquiring Torqeedo will enable us to gain electrical expertise far more quickly than with a stand-alone solution and to electrify our product range where it makes sense from a technical and financial perspective. This will give us a significant advantage in a very fast-moving competitive environment. It also marks the start of our E-Deutz strategy, for which Torqeedo will be the catalyst.”

Deutz said alternative drives will play an important role in its core segments and the company is seizing the opportunities arising from the changing conditions by introducing the E-Deutz strategy to complement its drive systems, which focuses on the development and manufacture of hybrid and electrified drive systems for off-highway applications.

As such, Deutz said Torqeedo’s technological expertise will become the nucleus of the E-Deutz strategy, supplementing the company’s system of modular technologies for reducing emissions and CO2. Some of the areas with potential are the downsizing of internal combustion engines and the related lowering of fuel consumption and operating costs.

Deutz said it plans to bring the first products to market under the E-Deutz strategy in around two years’ time – far earlier than if it had gone down this route alone. Deutz will initially invest around €100 million, which includes the acquisition of Torqeedo, in order to speed up implementation of the new strategy.

Part of this is an interesting blending of senior management between the two companies.  Along with being managing directors of Torqeedo, founder and CEO Dr. Christoph Ballin, as well as Dr. Ralf Plieninger will also take on senior management positions at Deutz. Ballin has been appointed head of strategy, while Torqeedo COO Dr. Ralf Plieninger has been appointed head of electrification.  Further, Heiko Brambach, formerly head of controlling products at Deutz, becomes the new chief financial officer of Torqeedo and joins its management board.

“The acquisition of Torqeedo enables us to launch technically sophisticated, financially viable electrification solutions on the market more quickly,” Hiller said. “We are establishing our competitive position early on and believe that there will be very good market opportunities for us.”

Deutz will consolidate Torqeedo from October 1, 2017 and is financing the acquisition from available cash.

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