Off-highway engine maker Deutz has responded to the likely adoption of electric and hybrid drive systems for future agricultural vehicles and implements by acquiring a leading German manufacturer to secure expertise in this field.
Torqeedo may produce only propulsion systems for leisure and commercial boats, but Deutz managers say buying the company will bring electrification knowledge and products for off-highway applications such as agriculture quicker than if starting from scratch.
Frank Hiller, chairman of the management board at Deutz, said: “This will give us a significant advantage in a very fast-moving competitive environment, and marks the start of our E-Deutz strategy.
“This strategy will lead to the electrification of our product range where it makes sense from technical and financial perspectives, as well as the development of hybrid and all-electric solutions for off-highway applications.”
Torqeedo founder and CEO Christoph Ballin says his company has extensive know-how in respect of electric motors, battery management, power electronics and system integration.
Deutz will invest about €100m ($117m) on the Torqeedo acquisition and other initiatives to implement the E-Deutz strategy, which the company foresees has potential for further downsizing of combustion engines to bring lower fuel consumption and operating costs. First products are expected in about two years’ time.