Kreisel Electric, developer of the Skoda Kreisel RE-X1 electric rally car and supplier of batteries to both the World Rally Championship (WRC) and World Rallycross Championship (WRX), is to be acquired by John Deere, the USA-based agricultural and construction machinery manufacturer.
Kreisel has focused on the development of immersion-cooled electric battery modules and packs for high-performance and off-highway applications. It currently supplies batteries to multiple end markets, including commercial vehicles, off-highway vehicles, marine, e-motorsports, and other high-performance applications.
John Deere states that it sees demand growing for batteries as a sole- or hybrid-propulsion system for off-highway vehicles. The company foresees that some products in its portfolio such as turf equipment, compact utility tractors, small tractors, compact construction, and some road building equipment could rely solely on batteries as a primary power source.
The majority investment in Kreisel Electric will enable Deere to integrate vehicle and powertrain designs around high-density battery packs while leveraging Kreisel’s charging technology to build out infrastructure required for customer adoption.
“Kreisel’s battery technology can be applied across the broad portfolio of Deere products, and Kreisel’s in-market experience will benefit Deere as we ramp up our battery-electric vehicle portfolio. Deere will provide the expertise, global footprint, and funding to enable Kreisel to continue its fast growth in core markets,” said Pierre Guyot, SVP, John Deere Power Systems.
“This is an opportunity to invest in a company with unique technology that’s designed for the demanding conditions where Deere customers work.
“Furthermore, building an electrified portfolio is key to John Deere’s sustainability goal of pursuing new technologies that reduce the environmental impact of new products and work toward zero emissions propulsion systems on equipment, while increasing our customers’ efficiency and productivity.”
Kreisel Electric will retain its employees, brand name and trademark, and continue to operate from its current location in Austria to serve existing and new customers.