Volvo Cars invests in SiC technology by Leadrive

Volvo Cars has announced an investment in Leadrive, a Shanghai-based provider of power electronics and controls for electric vehicles, founded in 2017. The company has worked with Schaeffler and SAIC-Volkswagen on SiC e-axles.

The website also reveals a German branch in Aachen. Undisclosed remains the level of investment by Volvo Cars Tech Fund. The statement only reads that the carmaker’s venture capital arm now holds a small minority stake in Leadrive as part of the latest funding round.

Volvo adds that the investment aligned with its “vertical integration” and electrification roadmap. It entails collaborating with “relevant partners”, and Volvo says it “doubled down on critical technology investments in recent years and made key decisions on what we build versus what we buy”.

Leadrive specializes in developing and producing silicon carbide power modules, a material that “promises to unlock highly efficient and flexible electric propulsion systems,” writes Volvo.

“Leadrive’s technology demonstrates a lot of potential for the development of more efficient electric drivetrains,” added Alexander Petrofski, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “That potential closely aligns with our own focus on electrification, so we’re excited to invest in the company and help it to continue growing its business.”

Jie Shen, founder and CEO of Leadrive, revealed the companies had been working “very closely on the development of new generation SiC technologies, which has built a firm stairway towards the strategic collaboration,” agreed today.

Volvo Cars is ambitious to become a fully electric car maker by 2030. Commenting on the investment today, Volvo said these investments in batteries, e-motors, inverters and battery management software “allow us to control the entire electrical propulsion system in our fully electric cars.”

The company started the Volvo Cars Tech Fund in 2018 to invest in transformative areas such as artificial intelligence, electrification, autonomous driving, sustainability, and digital commerce.,


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