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Nidec is 'planning a $1.9bn EV motor plant for Serbia'

05 November, 2020

A report from the Nikkei news service suggests that the Japanese motor manufacturer Nidec is planning to build a $1.9bn factory in Serbia to produce motors for the European electric vehicle market. The company is said to be in the final stage of negotiations for the plant, which would include a research centre and could be producing up to 300,000 motors per year by 2023.

Nidec, which has a goal of generating revenues worth $6.7–9.6bn from the automotive sector, is already planning to start producing EV motors in existing plants in France and Poland in 2022. It has a roadmap to produce a series of EV drivetrains with ratings from 50kW/1.6kNm to 200kW/4.2kNm.

Nidec predicts that electric drivetrains will become less expensive than traditional internal combustion engines by 2025, by which time it expects to be shipping around two million of its “e-axle” traction motors globally. The number will increase to about 10 million a year by 2030.

Nidec, whose subsidiaries include the Welsh drives-maker Control Techniques and the French motor manufacturer Leroy-Somer, also has four operational and planned EV drive production sites in China, with a combined capacity to produce up to 2.4 million motors a year. It recently opened a 12,000m2 r&d site with 36 motor-testing systems in China, and this will be joined next year by another r&d facility in Dalian, which will employ around 1,000 people and be similar in size to Nidec’s main r&d facility in Japan.

Automotive products, including electric vehicle motors, could represent up to half of Nidec's business this year

The changing shape of Nidec’s activities is shown by the fact that in 2010, small precision motors – such as those use in computer hard drives – were its biggest business, contributing $3.35bn of revenues to the company’s total of $6.52bn. This year, Nidec expects small motors to generate revenues of around $5.8bn and its total sales to be about $19.3bn. The automotive sector now represents up to half of its business, while products aimed at the industrial, domestic appliance and commercial markets, account for another $5.8bn.

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