BMW & Continental invest in DeepDrive

BMW and Continental have become investors in electric drive specialist DeepDrive. The Munich-based start-up has developed a radial flux dual rotor motor including power electronics that can be installed as a central drive as well as a wheel hub drive in production vehicles.

DeepDrive raised a total of €15 million in its Series A financing round. Other backers include existing investors UVC Partners and Bayern Kapital with its Bavarian Growth Fund. The company is also supported by former Audi development board member Dr Peter Mertens. In their press release, which was sent to us via email, the Munich-based company did not disclose who is contributing how much capital.

What is clear is that the company intends to use the fresh capital to start industrial production of the engines and to continue to grow in terms of personnel. The company says its goal is to continue to meet the increasing market demand. DeepDrive says it is already working with eight of the ten largest car manufacturers and intends to bring its technology to the market in large-scale production by 2026.

According to co-founder and CEO Felix Pörnbacher, the efficiency of electric vehicles is one of the biggest challenges facing almost all car manufacturers. “With our double rotor drive, we were able to develop a key technology that addresses precisely this problem and is thus attracting extremely high interest from the industry. With our focus on disruptive innovation coupled with professional large-scale production experience, we see ourselves as a pioneer of electrification for mobility. Now we look forward to working with our strong new partners and existing supporters to bring this technology to the road and win our first series projects.”

DeepDrive initially showed a prototype of its wheel hub motor at the IAA in 2021. The patented architecture is said to allow a higher torque and power density compared to other drive technologies, which should help vehicles to achieve 20 per cent more range or 20 per cent smaller batteries. DeepDrive’s main focus is to eradicate the previous weaknesses of the gearless wheel hub motor. “The technical hurdles can be solved. The advantages of this motor technology are so great that it will become established as soon as it becomes price-competitive. I am convinced of that,” said Co-Founder Alexander Rosen. According to Rosen, DeepDrive is targeting the same cost as a conventional electric axle drive today.

BMW and Continental have apparently convinced them of their promising approach. “DeepDrive will set completely new standards in e-mobility with its patented e-motor architecture,” says Marcus Behrendt, Managing Director at BMW i Ventures about his company’s investment. “DeepDrive’s e-motor technology is designed for simple and cost-effective large-scale production. Scaling up to large-scale production is our stated goal. We are pleased to be able to help this new technology achieve a breakthrough with our investment.”

Jürgen Bilo, Managing Director of Continental’s Corporate Venture Capital Unit, says “After assessing the overall concept as well as the efficiency of the motor, we are convinced that DeepDrive can decisively drive the market penetration of electric mobility. This technology combined with DeepDrive’s excellent team convinced us to invest in the company.”

DeepDrive previously raised €4.3 million in a first financing round last year, which closed in February 2022. With the new capital, the total investment in the company now amounts to 19.3 million euros.

Source: Info via email


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