Equipmake, Sona Comstar in licensing agreement
By Chad Elmore16 May 2023
Sona Comstar to use technology in commercial and off-road vehicles
Equipmake, the UK-based engineering specialist for the development and production of electrification products for the automobile, aerospace, bus and coach industries, has signed a licensing agreement with Sona BLW Precision Forging Ltd., known as Sona Comstar.
The agreement will see Equipmake license certain products from its range of electric drive motors, inverter, and electric powertrain technology to Sona Comstar, an automotive systems and components manufacturer headquartered in India – for electric cars, buses, commercial vehicles and off-road vehicles in India, Thailand and other south Asian countries.
Sona Comstar will lead the business development and customer sales. It will exclusively manufacture EV powertrains, sub-systems, and components, based on Equipmake’s patented technology, for the target applications exclusively in India and other select markets. The companies expect the serial production of these systems to commence in 2025.
“Equipmake’s patented next generation spoke motors and inverters offer one of the highest power and torque density in its segments globally and we are delighted to partner with Equipmake to bring their cutting-edge motors and inverters technologies to India,” said Sat Mohan Gupta, CEO of Motor Business at Sona Comstar. “With Equipmake’s advanced technology and Sona Comstar’s manufacturing and sales capabilities, we aim to offer our customers high-performance, efficient, cost-effective electrified drivetrain solutions. This is yet another step towards our commitment to offering innovative solutions to drive faster adoption of electric mobility in India and globally.”
Sona Comstar is an innovation-led automotive technology company that delivers mission-critical systems and components to customers worldwide. It offers a wide range of traction motors and controllers for India’s electric two- and three-wheeler segments. It is reportedly one of the largest manufacturers of EV traction motors in India and has sold more than 180,000 EV traction motors since starting production at its Chennai plant in November 2020.
India is a high-growth market, said Equipmake, with share for electric passenger vehicles forecast to increase to 25% by 2032, up from less than 1% in 2022, and electric buses to increase to 21% by 2032, up from 5% in 2022.
Sona Comstar’s objective is to develop traction motors and inverters for all mobility segments and offer the right motor, made using the right technology, to each vehicle application. With this partnership with Equipmake, the company expects to expand its offerings to include high-voltage motors and inverters for electric buses, commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
Both parties will jointly address other markets and territories for certain Equipmake products, utilizing Sona Comstar’s manufacturing and distribution networks.
“Sona Comstar is a global automotive systems and components manufacturer and one of India’s leading automotive technology companies. This agreement provides a material gear change for our business and opens new and strategic markets for Equipmake which would otherwise be inaccessible,” said Ian Foley, CEO of Equipmake.
“Sona Comstar approaching and selecting Equipmake as its partner is a demonstration of a UK engineering success story which will enable us to export our considerable expertise and product offering to significant and fast-growing automotive markets in Asia, whilst continuing to grow our engineering and manufacturing operations in the UK to satisfy our increasingly international and varied customer base.