Freudenberg Raises Stake in Fuel-Cell Technology
In February 2018, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies invested in more than 30% of XALT Energy with a plan to raise its stake to 100%.
Claus Moehlenkamp, Freudenberg’s CEO, told industry professionals in August of 2018, that electrified vehicles could grow to 40% of new-vehicle demand in 2040 during the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefings Seminars in Traverse City, MI. Freudenberg executive Nils Martens told Wards in an interview, “Initially, we expect more focus to be on Europe and North America followed by Asia. We have also had discussions involving South America with local partners and customers there.”
In the lithium battery field, Freudenberg plans to build upon the foundation laid by XALT Energy, the former Dow Kokam, which opened a 400,000 sq.-ft. (37,161 sq.-m) plant in 2012, later expanded to 460,000 sq.-ft. (42,735 sq.-m), with 700 MWh capacity. XALT’s lithium-titanate oxide or LTO cell technology boasts specific power of more than 3,500 watts/kg measured at 50% SOC, 10-second pulse and 86°F (30° C). Cycle life – tests are ongoing – is expected to be in the tens of thousands at fast-charging rates. Battery cells are packed in expandable casings or packs (corrected from original article).
XALT has named two customers on its website: New Flyer of America for 10 commuter buses, five each to be put in service in Portland, OR, and New York City and, separately, Williams Advanced Engineering for Formula E racing cars. For both its lithium battery and fuel-cell technologies, Freudenberg believes trucks and buses, more generally heavy-duty vehicle applications, have excellent potential.
How big does Freudenberg expect its new businesses to grow by 2025? “Our aspiration is significantly above €1 billion ($1.1 billion),” Martens says.
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