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Kongsberg Automotive has decided to increase its commitment to and capabilities within electric- and hybrid powertrains by acquiring 100% ownership in ePower Nordic AB, a joint venture between KA and QRTECH AB.

The ePower joint venture was established in 2011 to address increasing demand for more energy efficient powertrains and to create a R&D unit focusing on electric- and hybrid powertrains. The purpose of the venture was to quickly build momentum in this exciting technology area by combining resources and competence from both organizations.

ePower’s product scope is power electronics, the components between the electric motor and the battery, and the connection to the power grid, such as on board chargers, converters and inverters. The level of electronic content in Kongsberg Automotive’s products is continuously increasing, and including the ePower organization, KA now has a team of 75 electronic engineers to continue to build upon.

In the fall of 2013, ePower received its first series development contract for an on board charger for a hybrid bus. The project is now moving into an industrialization phase and preparing for series production, following the award of a EUR 10 million contract from a European OEM announced on March 26 this year. The strong cooperation with the former JV partner QRTECH will continue through an exclusive service agreement.

“We see interesting long-term potential within the hybrid segment, and believe the time is right for making a stronger commitment.  With full ownership by Kongsberg Automotive, ePower will be strengthened with additional employees this year, and will maintain a close relationship with QRTECH,” said Hans Peter Havdal, CEO of Kongsberg Automotive.

“QRTECH has worked with Kongsberg Automotive since early 2000 and we formed the JV together in 2011. It has been an exciting journey and we are looking forward to supporting this important initiative in the coming years”, said Bengt Nordén, CEO of QRTECH AB.