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UK axial flux motor developer goes public, raising £37.5m

09 July, 2021

The UK electric motor developer and manufacturer Saietta Group, which specialises in axial-flux technology (AFT) motors, has listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, raising expected gross proceeds of £37.5m with a market capitalisation of around £102.1m at the issue price.

Oxfordshire-based Saietta says that its admission to AIM is an important step in its development and will accelerate progression to mass production of its proprietary AFT electric motor for a variety of applications.

The IPO will provide Saietta with the capital to implement its growth plans, including establishing a motor durability testing facility and helping to expand a pilot production facility, which will increase its European production capacity to 100,000 motors a year.

“We have been greatly encouraged by the very positive reaction to our IPO which attracted support from a range of blue-chip institutions,” says Saietta CEO, Wicher Kist. “It puts us in a strong position to deliver our exciting strategy.

“Although the motor industry has focused on the electrification of the passenger car segment, Saietta has taken a contrarian view and focused on high-volume, high-growth markets,” he adds. “We have taken high-end, high-performance technology and redeveloped it for low-cost mass production, giving our AFT motors potential across a wide range of EV applications.

“We believe we are uniquely positioned to disrupt the Asian lightweight motorbike market which is expected to dominate demand for motorbikes,” Kist continues. “Global annual motorbike sales are independently forecast to increase to circa 100 million by 2030 – 40% of which are expected to be electric. We are aiming to capture a material proportion of the rapidly expanding electric motorbike market.”

The AFT design is claimed to deliver class-leading performance, offering high torque densities at low voltages and is particularly efficient for urban duty cycles. The motors have been designed for highly automated volume production.

Earlier this year, Saietta demonstrated an efficient in-wheel motor designed for urban stop-start journeys. Moving the powertrain into the wheels creates a platform with a flat floor that maximises the usable space above the chassis for applications such as transporting people or cargo, or collecting refuse.

Saietta CEO Wicher Kist with some of the potential applications for his company’s axial-flux motor technologies

The AFT motors’ circular “pancake” shape makes them ideal for fitting into wheels. Their low operating voltage is claimed to make them safer than high-voltage alternatives.

In-wheel motors also reduce drivetrain complexity and the number of parts needed, offering a lightweight, cost-effective method of vehicle electrification, which eliminates some of the heavy, intricate and expensive components used in other electric drive systems.

The in-wheel motors also provide good manoeuvrability, flexibility, modularity, a four-wheel drive capability, and the possibility of regenerative braking, which puts energy back into the battery to extend a vehicle's range on a single charge.

“We are not intending to become a platform manufacturer and only developed a chassis to demonstrate the power of our in-wheel motor innovation,” says Kist. “We want to work with platform developers, complementing rather than competing with their innovation. Ultimately we believe that inner city electric vehicles will be fully autonomous and our in-wheel motor technology can play an important role in this market.”

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