Nidec is supplying drives for the Zeekr 001

The Japanese electric motor manufacturer Nidec has signed a supply contract with the Geely brand Zeekr. According to Nidec, the 200 kW axle drive will be installed in the Zeekr 001.

Geely had announced the premium electric brand Zeekr only this March, and in April Zeekr unveiled the debut model 001 at the Shanghai Auto Show. This is based on Geely’s SEA platform, is 4.97 metres long with a three-metre wheelbase, 1.99 metres wide and 1.56 metres high. Already at that time, a drive power of 400 kW was mentioned.

As Nidec now announces, this is one Ni200Ex per axle in the all-wheel-drive version. The maximum torque is supposed to be 768 Nm, a sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h. The 001 is supposed to have two battery options. In the 001, there are to be two battery options – with 86 or 100 kWh. The latter is said to last for up to 712 kilometres in the NEDC and can be charged with up to 360 kW.

Zeekr had stated that the 001 would go on sale in China in 2021, then in other countries from 2022. A timetable that did not fit with Nidec’s plans: as reported, the Japanese company actually wanted to bring the Ni200Ex into mass production only in 2023. This plan was “considerably accelerated” and production began in August 2021 in order to be able to supply the Zeekr 001.

The basic model of Nidec’s electric drive kit, the 150 kW Ni150Ex, was unveiled in 2018 – with Chinese manufacturer GAC as the launch customer. Nidec then announced 100 and 70 kW variants in spring 2019, before unveiling 50 and 200 kW power stages in February 2020.

When the Ni70Ex goes into production this year and the Ni50Ex in 2022, Nidec wants to be able to cover the A to E vehicle segments with the range of 50 to 200 kW engine power (or more if there are two engines in the vehicle), i.e. from small cars to luxury cars. This is also the range that Geely covers with the SEA platform. However, it is not clear from the Zeekr 001 announcement whether Nidec will be the sole engine supplier for the SEA.

Nidec’s own targets are to achieve a 40-45 per cent market share in EV traction motors by 2030 – a supply agreement for the SEA platform, which Volvo and Polestar will also use in the future, would certainly help. So far, Nidec has confirmed agreements with GAC (both for GAC Aion, but also GAC Toyota), Foxconn and Geely with the Geometry brand. In Europe, Nidec manufactures electric motors, among other things, in a joint venture with PSA.


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