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Bosch Enters E-Scooter Market

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SHANGHAI/NINGBO, China – German Bosch Group joins forces with China based Ningbo Polaris Technology for making motors for electric scooters. Bosch will hold the majority of the shares in the joint venture.
Bosch E-bike Motor

The new JV company is to develop, manufacture and sell a comprehensive product portfolio of high-end e-scooter motors, ‘following the quality and performance demands of western consumers’ says the press release which was issued after the two companies signed an agreement on 13 August 2012. It has been agreed that details of the transaction, which is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities, will not be disclosed.

Specialized maker
Ningbo Polaris Technology employs approximately 450 people. It specializes in developing, manufacturing, and selling of e-scooter motors in China under the ‘Poltm’ brand name. In 2011, the company sold over one million e-scooter motors.

Promising e-scooter market
The reasons for Bosch’s early involvement in e-scooters are easy to explain. Since the start of the company’s E-Bike Systems division in 2009 the entry into the e-bike market was very successful. It’s not a secret that this young company - in combination with other Bosch divisions such as Bosch Electrical Drives – is also eyeing the promising e-scooter market.

46 million units in 2020
In 2011 the e-scooter motor market was estimated at 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”, forecasts Udo Wolz, president of 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 e-scooter motor market.”

New market segment
According to a company statement it will also help to, “Boost Bosch Electrical Drives’ endeavors to exploit a new market segment of electrically powered two-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 is adding to its extensive portfolio of electro-mobility solutions – a portfolio that ranges from drive units for pedelecs to complete powertrain systems for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Synergies
Ningbo Polaris Technology CEO Dacheng Luo sees excellent growth opportunities, “As a preferred partner of the global automotive industry, Bosch Electrical Drives offers system solutions for automotive applications, and can draw on a broad portfolio of leading motor technologies. These synergies will allow the joint venture to pursue the vision of serving customers’ evolving needs for quality and performance – a vision Ningbo Polaris pursued since its establishment. Together with Bosch, we will produce the large-scale synergy that is essential for continuous delivery of innovative high quality products for the global e-scooter market.”

by Jo Beckendorff

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