Bosch, Chinese firm mull joint venture for electric scooters

German tech firm Bosch Group said it plans to form a joint venture with Ningbo Polaris Technology, a Chinese provider of motors for electrically driven scooters (eScooters), with Bosch holding the majority.

An eScooter manufactured by Ningbo. Photo credit: http://jianuoemotorcycle.en.ec21.com

The joint venture is to develop, manufacture, and sell a comprehensive product portfolio of eScooter motors.

An agreement to this effect was signed on August 13, 2012. It has been agreed that details of the transaction, which is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities, will not be disclosed.

Ningbo Polaris Technology specializes in developing, manufacturing, and selling of eScooter motors in China under the POLTM brand. In 2011, the company sold over one million eScooter motors and employed some 450 associates.

The global production output of the eScooter market in 2011 was about 27 million units. China was and will remain its dominant manufacturing location, with 98 percent of the production volume.

“With a growth rate of six percent per annum the market will reach up to 46 million units in 2020,” said Udo Wolz, president of the Electrical Drives division.

“Therefore, besides being a strong addition to Bosch Electrical Drives, the establishment of this joint venture is a milestone for us as we move into the global eScooter motor market,” Wolz said.

Moreover, it will help boost Bosch Electrical Drives’ endeavors to explore a new market segment of electrically powered 2-wheelers and to develop competences in the growing wheel-hub motor segment, which is the world’s biggest selling motor application for electrical vehicles and will remain so in the future.

In making this move, Bosch said it is adding to its portfolio of electromobility solutions – a portfolio that ranges from drive units for electrically assisted two-wheelers, also known as pedelecs, to complete powertrain systems for hybrid and electric vehicles.

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