Tesla to acquire Maxwell Technologies for $218mn
Tesla, the world leader in the manufacture of electric vehicles, announced this week that it has agreed to acquire San Diego-based Maxwell Technologies, inc. The acquisition will see Tesla pay US$4.75 per share for Maxwell, with the deal expected to total $218mn.
"We are very excited with today's announcement that Tesla has agreed to acquire Maxwell. Tesla is a well-respected and world-class innovator that shares a common goal of building a more sustainable future," said Dr. Franz Fink, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maxwell. "We believe this transaction is in the best interests of Maxwell stockholders and offers investors the opportunity to participate in Tesla's mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy."
Tesla’s interest in Maxwell Technologies centers on the company’s energy storage technology, in particular its work on using ultracapacitors: batteries that can absorb and discharge energy much faster than those currently on the market. According to a Techcrunch report, ultracapacitor batteries can also “perform at a wide range of temperatures and have high power density and long operational life.” Maxwell’s ultracapacitors are made using dry electrode technology, which the company says can be used to improve the performance and longevity of multiple battery types, as well as drive down costs.
With the global electric vehicle market estimated to reach $567bn by 2025, an increasing number of automakers are making serious entries to the market. The Jaguar I-pace and Volkswagen ID are poised to become competitors to Tesla’s 2016 Model 3.
“Tesla needs Maxwell’s solvent-free battery electrode manufacturing for a viable path to lower battery costs,” Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners told Reuters on Monday. “Real competitors are coming now, so Tesla needs to move fast.”
In an emailed statement to Techcrunch, a Tesla spokesperson said: “We are always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
The acquisition is expected to be completed in Q2 2019.
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.