BorgWarner acquires Swiss engineering firm DriveTek

The US automotive supplier BorgWarner has acquired DriveTek AG as of 1 December 2022. The Swiss company offers engineering and product development services for inverters, electric drive solutions, and power electronics. The transaction is worth CHF 35 million.

DriveTek’s competencies include designing and developing power electronics and electrical machines, system engineering, and control software states BorgWarner. Drivetek serves customers in the automotive, transportation, aviation, industrial and energy sectors. In addition, the company developed specialized inverters for high-speed electrified turbomachinery, in which an e-motor on the compressor turbine can be used to avoid “turbo lag”, for example, and increase the efficiency of the drive.

“Drivetek is an important partner with BorgWarner on our booked eFan business, with our first customer award being announced in February of this year,” said Frédéric Lissalde, President and CEO of BorgWarner. “Bringing Drivetek’s talented team in-house is an investment that grows our power electronics capabilities in auxiliary inverters, which we expect to accelerate the growth of our High Voltage eFan business.”

This is where the two companies have already worked together in the past. The 40 kW system consists of a fan, electric motor and inverter and is installed in battery-electric heavy-duty and long-haul trucks. Developers of e-trucks have so far faced a significant challenge, as particular components such as fans and air-conditioning compressors were not available with the standard truck requirements. So far, the parts available on the market were designed for the running times of passenger cars, which are stationary for an average of 23 hours a day. A truck is on the road many hours a day and thus has many more operating hours per year. Given these operating times, components according to car standards would wear out too quickly – be it the compressor for the cab air conditioning system or, as in the case of the high-voltage eFan, the thermal management of the battery.

The transaction has an enterprise value of up to CHF 35 million, of which CHF 25 million was delivered at closing. BorgWarner could pay an additional CHF 10 million in contingent payments over the next three years.

This is not the US supplier’s first acquisition in the eMobility sector. Last year, BorgWarner famously acquired German battery systems manufacturer Akasol. In 2020, the takeover of US competitor Delphi also went through – partly because of Delphi’s know-how in electronics and power electronics.

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.


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