This Oxford-based electric motor company is helping Mercedes-Benz to become an EV-only brand

YASA Image credits: YASA

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are hot stocks now! A growing number of automobile manufacturers and investors are recognising the major shift happening in the industry globally. A report says the electric motor market is expected to reach $169.1 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 6.9%. 

Consequently, legacy car companies like Honda, General Motors (GM), Ford, Fiat, Volvo, and others, have started devising plans to free up their portfolio from the combustion engine. A large chunk of automobile manufacturers is taking the same course to make the transition to EV faster – Acquisition.

And here’s where startups developing electric vehicle technology fill the gap as acquisition targets.

According to Brian Walsh, head of WIND Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Chilean energy company Copec, says, “It makes sense that we’ll see more acquisitions — small and large — frankly, and some consolidation within the sector, as well. And it’s all in the objective of them transitioning a large organization as quickly as they can.”

Follows acquisition route

Following the suite, Mercedes-Benz has recently acquired YASA, an Oxford-based electric motor and controller technology company. With this move, the luxury car company is accelerating toward an emissions-free and software-driven future.

Post-acquisition, the Oxford University spin-off will provide electric motors for Mercedes-Benz’s AMG.EA electric-only platform, while also acting as an innovation partner working on new electric drive technology for the wider Group.

However, the UK company and its 250 employees will continue to operate from its headquarters and production facility in Oxford, UK.

YASA CEO Chris Harris said: “Parkwalk were YASA’s largest investor and have been very supportive of the company from their first investment in 2012 and through four subsequent investment rounds. Parkwalk understands the need for patient capital to build a pioneering technology company like YASA to the point where its technology can be adopted by Mercedes, the world’s premium automotive brand.” 

Unique axial-flux electric motor technology

Founded in 2008 by Tim Woolmer, YASA designs and manufactures highly efficient electric powertrain solutions for hybrid and electric vehicles. 

For a given power & torque requirement, YASA’s unique axial-flux electric motor technology can deliver significantly smaller, lighter, and more efficient electric motors, controllers, and integrated electric drive units. 

The company has raised funding €50.5 million (approx £43.2 million) from various investors including Parkwalk. 

Moray Wright, CEO of Parkwalk, says, “We expect YASA to thrive under its new ownership. Mercedes-Benz will maintain their electric motor R&D hub in Yarnton, Oxford. The team will continue to innovate and develop the next generations of motors and controllers, helping the world move towards a cleaner future and net-zero.”

Mercedes-Benz to become Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)

Mercedes-Benz is getting ready to go all-electric by the end of the decade. According to the company, by 2022 it will have battery electric vehicles (BEV) in all segments the company serves. 

From 2025, all newly launched vehicle architectures will be electric-only and customers will be able to choose an all-electric alternative for every model the company makes.

Massive investment coming up!

To facilitate this shift, the company has announced a massive plan which includes significantly accelerating R&D. The company is planning to invest over €40 billion (approx £34.2 billion) into battery electric vehicles between 2022 and 2030.

“The EV shift is picking up speed – especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs. The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG. “This step marks a profound reallocation of capital. By managing this faster transformation while safeguarding our profitability targets, we will ensure the enduring success of Mercedes-Benz. Thanks to our highly qualified and motivated workforce, I am convinced that we will be successful in this exciting new era.”