Yanmar buys Dutch battery startup

Yanmar buys Dutch battery startup

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Japanese conglomerate Yanmar has acquired a majority share in Eleo Technologies, a battery technology startup in Helmond, the Netherlands.

Eleo, founded in 2017 as Spike, is developing modular battery packs based on its advanced Battery Management System and thermal management bring higher performance, safety and lifetimes. This has been used for electric construction vehicles.

For example, machinery manufacturer Green Road Equipment and system integrator Motrac developed a unique electric tandem roller using a 20kWh high-performance battery pack from Eleo. This is built from four Eleo Size 35 battery modules to provide about 20 kWh of capacity, which is more than enough for a full day of intense work. There is an option to add a fifth battery module, which increases the capacity to 25 kWh.

Yanmar aims to integrate the scalable, and modular battery technology into electric powertrain systems for its off-road and construction applications, and Eleo is building a production facility with a capacity of 500MWh, equivalent of approximately 10,000 battery packs, at its base in the Netherlands that is planned for completion by mid-May 2022.

“We are thrilled to partner with Yanmar,” said ELEO co-founder Bas Verkaik. “Yanmar’s leading position, premium brand reputation, global network and decades-long experience in off-road applications and ELEO’s advanced modular battery systems are a perfect match to accelerate the adoption of electrified powertrain solutions worldwide.”

Yanmar acquired a majority share in ELEO through its subsidiary Yanmar Europe B.V., by means of a series of related transactions including a full exit of early-stage investor Lumipol Group. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

After joining the Yanmar Group as part of Yanmar Power Technology, Eleo will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity under its own brand at its current location in Helmond, the Netherlands. ELEO’s founders Bas Verkaik, Jeroen Bleker and Bram van Diggelen, will maintain their focus on further strengthening the company’s technology and accelerating business growth. The founders will be joined by key executives from Yanmar to form the company’s management board.

Eleo is part of two multimillion euro European electrification projects, working with VDL Groep, DAF Trucks, TNO, Eindhoven University of Technology, NXP Semiconductors, Bosal and Maastricht University.

“Yanmar is committed to delivering electric powertrain solutions that enable our customers to adopt zero-emission technology without compromising on productivity,” said Tomohisa Tao, President of Yanmar Power Technology. “The investment in ELEO gives us the opportunity to adopt highly innovative technology that has been engineered for the tough conditions in which our end-users work. We look forward to working with the ELEO team on their progressive product roadmap and utilizing our experience, expertise and global presence to support them in their exciting growth path.”

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