Wireless, or inductive, charging technology could prove to be a game-changer when it comes to providing the necessary infrastructure for all applications of electric vehicles, most notably heavy-duty buses.
To push the technology forward, IPT Group, a global manufacturer of wireless charging and electrification solutions applied in industrial and e-mobility applications, has acquired Primove, the e-mobility inductive charging technology portfolio from Bombardier.
With this acquisition, IPT combines two cleantech scale-ups in wireless power transfer for e-mobility benefiting from synergies, thereby accelerating IPT’s offering of a complete product portfolio to serve various markets.
“By acquiring Primove we’re complementing our existing IP and product portfolio and speed up our product-to-market plans,” said IPT’s management, Richard van den Dool and Victor Hoynck van Papendrecht.
Both IPT Technology and Primove have been innovating and pioneering various pilots, prototypes and proofs of concept. Since its start in 2008, Primove has developed a strong patent portfolio for E-Mobility applications. Next to bus applications, Primove has invested substantially in light-duty vehicle applications. IPT Technology has its roots in industrial wireless applications and has developed heavy-duty e-mobility solutions. By combining the technology and expertise of both companies, IPT is strengthening its market position and accelerating its business planning.
“Primove and IPT share a wealth of technology, market experience and installed base. IPT has an ambitious product development strategy,” said CEO/CCO Richard van den Dool.
“Now the global energy transition and change-over to battery-driven vehicles are taking off; we need to accelerate our product development. Our focus will move from research, concept and prototype phase, to developing serial products.”
Smart City, Smart Mobility, Industry 4.0, Autonomous Driving and other Megatrends are highly dependent on the availability of wireless electrification facilities. “Market demand for static and (semi)dynamic wireless charging applications will boost for all types of transport vehicles by rail, road or water. IPT is fully prepared for this, but we gain direct access to Primove’s IP, knowhow, and experience with this strategic takeover. That will save time and resources, that now can spend on new developments.”
“IPT Technology is ready to scale up its product development capacity,” according to CEO/COO Victor Hoynck van Papendrecht. “IPT has developed a solid base for further growth, and strongly believes in co-operation and partnerships to build the future. Accelerating and realizing our ambitions require strategic and financial partners. With the acquisition of Primove, we strengthen our product portfolio while improving our proposition as a technology provider. Primove has always focused on light-duty cars (power range from 3-22kW) and heavy-duty applications (200kW). IPT’s focus has been on Industrial Mobility, making IPT the trusted partner for leading industrial companies to dynamic wireless empower their daily processes.”
With different markets and R&D approaches for light-duty charging solutions, both companies are complementary to each other. Primove has invested substantially in developing its Z-Mover, an industrialized 3.6kW charging solution for the light-duty car market that includes an impressive metal detection and positioning system. Whereas Primove approached the car market top-down via OEM’s, IPT worked bottom-up by conducting selected pilots. The first pilot with Daimler started in 2012, followed by pilots with Porsche, Streetscooter (DHL) or EON. Currently, IPT is occupied in a Pan-European charging project driven by the EU (Horizon 2020 – User-Chi).
“We will finalize and complete the developments of Primove’s Z-Mover and implement the first pilot in Barcelona at the end of 2021,” says IPT Management. Early 2021 IPT will also participate in an innovative project driven by the UK Government (OSRIC=On street Residential Inductive Charge) for which IPT has developed an underground charging solution. This allows 14 cars (different models) to be wirelessly charged overnight via the existing lamppost infrastructure keeping street clutter clean. IPT’s market experiences and pilot agenda combined with Primove technical leadership and advantages will be a great synergy.
The overlap between the two technologies is clearly on heavy-duty bus applications. IPT has been developing and installing wireless charging solutions (60-100kW) for buses since 2004. IPT’s first-generation charging solution was installed in Turin for 23 e-buses and still is in daily operation. IPT’s 3rd generation Charge Bus technology is used in different European cities, including London and Madrid. With this acquisition, Primove’s 200kW expertise and installed based in Berlin, Mannheim, Braunschweig or Bruges will be added to the IPT portfolio. Thereby all wireless charged busses across Europe come now from the same team!
Christian Köbel, chief technology officer of IPT said: “We will further optimize and combine both technologies and build a next-generation Bus Charge for depot and opportunity charging. But Bus will just be one of our focus segments. We also have an ambitious roadmap for static and dynamic wireless electrification, such as car, truck, ship, forklift, AGV/RGV or sorter line applications. With our roadmap, we will offer operators, owners and individuals an exciting range that facilitates their next step towards a wireless future.”
Terms of the deal are not disclosed.