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Mercedes buys UK motor-maker Yasa to power new AMG EVs

23 July, 2021

Mercedes-Benz has bought the UK electric motor developer and manufacturer Yasa and will use its axial-flux electric motor technology to power a new generation of high-performance all-electric AMG cars due to be launched in 2025. Yasa will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, developing ultra-high-performance e-motors, while retaining its own brand, team, facilities, and continuing to supply existing customers. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Following the acquisition, Yasa and its 250 employees will continue to operate from its headquarters and production facility in Oxford, and its innovation facility in Welshpool, Wales. As well as providing motors for Mercedes-Benz’s AMG.EA electric-only platform, Yasa will also act as an innovation partner, pioneering new electric drive technologies for Mercedes.

Yasa’s axial-flux electric motor technology, which is protected by more than 120 patents, is said to be a step-change from conventional radial electric motors. Yasa claims that its e-motors deliver the highest efficiencies and power densities in their class for the smallest possible size and weight.

“Since our foundation in 2009, we’ve always been pioneers in next-generation electric drive technology,” says Yasa CEO, Chris Harris. “Now, as part of Mercedes-Benz, we’re going redefine the future of driving performance.

“Working with Mercedes-Benz since 2019, it was always clear that we shared the same commitment to engineering excellence, innovation and reshaping mobility for the electric age,” he adds. “This acquisition is tremendously exciting because it gives Yasa technology the global scale and reach of Mercedes-Benz. Together, we have the opportunity to make Yasa the premier mark of excellence in electric motor technology, accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and resetting the bar for electric driving experiences.

“Operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, with our own brand, team and facilities, Yasa will help to develop pioneering best-in-class electric drive innovations to give Mercedes-Benz exceptional performance in a new electric era.”

Mercedes-AMG CEO Philipp Schiemer says that Yasa’s axial-flux technology “allows future fully-electric Mercedes-AMG performance cars to stay a step ahead of the competition. Thanks to electric motors with higher power density and continuous torque delivery, we will redefine the future of driving performance.”

Mercedes announced the Yasa acquisition as part of a new strategy which will see all of its new vehicle architectures being electric-only from 2025, when it plans to launch three platforms, including the all-new AMG.EA, which will operate at 800V and use silicon carbide inverters. Already in the first half of 2021, Mercedes’ deliveries of all-electric and plug-in hybrid EVs have risen by 300%.

According to chief operating officer, Markus Schäfer, the power density, performance and repeatable acceleration of the AMG EVs “will be truly unmatched. Yasa is going to power us to a new level of cutting-edge electric drive technology.”

As well the Yasa acquisition, Mercedes Benz also announced that, working with partners, it is planning to establish a battery-making capacity of more than 200GWh at eight Gigafactories around the world, in addition to an already planned network of nine plants dedicated to building battery systems.

Mercedes-Benz CEO, Ola Källenius, with some of the company’s EVs: sales were up 300% in first half of 2021

It is also planning to establish a network of more than 530,000 AC and DC charging points worldwide. Some of Mercedes’ new EVs will be able to add up to 300km of range with 15 minutes of charging.

Mercedes is also developing an EV with a real-world range of more than 1,000km and a single-digit kWh/100km performance (better than 6 miles per kWh). This vehicle, codenamed Vision EQXX, is scheduled to make its public debut next year.

Mercedes is planning to invest more than €40bn in battery EVs between 2022 and 2030, when it expects to be selling only all-electric vehicles. In addition to the AMG.EA vehicles, the company is planning to launch new generations of medium-to-large passenger EVs (called MB.EA) and electric vans and light commercial vehicles (VAN.EA) in 2025.

To prepare for the new era, around 20,000 of Mercedes’ employees in Germany were trained last year in aspects of e-mobility, while the company expects to create 3,000 new software engineering jobs worldwide.

Mercedes believes that the proportion of EV costs accounted for by the batteries will fall “significantly” and it expects that margins it will achieve from producing battery-powered EVs will be similar to those it achieved in the internal combustion engine era.

“The EV shift is picking up speed, especially in the luxury segment where Mercedes-Benz belongs,” says CEO, Ola Källenius. “The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade.”


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A Yasa axial-flux motor: will power a new generation of all-electric Mercedes AMG high-performance cars

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