SolarEdge acquires electric vehicle powertrain provider SMRE

SolarEdge

SolarEdge Technologies announced a huge move today, acquiring SMRE Spa, a provider of integrated powertrain technology and electronics for electric vehicles.

Founded in 1999 and traded on the Italian AIM, SMRE has three business units: e-mobility, automated production machines and telematics software. The company has more than fifteen years of experience developing end-to-end e-mobility solutions for electric and hybrid vehicles used in motorcycles, commercial vehicles and trucks. These solutions include innovative high-performing powertrains with e-motor, motor drive, gearbox, battery, BMS, chargers, Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) and software for electric vehicles.

With governments and automotive manufacturers committed to the electrification of transportation, the global market for electric vehicles is expected by industry experts to increase from approximately one million EVs in 2018 to approximately 20 million annually in 2030, with a CAGR of 30.6% from 2015 and until 2030.

“The acquisition of SMRE is another step in executing our strategy of sustainable growth by addressing an additional fast growing and technologically synergetic market while diversifying into new fields outside the solar arena,” stated Guy Sella, CEO, Chairman and Founder of SolarEdge. “SMRE’s innovative technology and experienced, successful team provides SolarEdge with fast-track access to the high-growth e-mobility market. We believe that combining SMRE’s vast experience and full powertrain technology with SolarEdge’s innovative power and battery technology, proven operational excellence and global reach, positions us to become a market leader in this important market.”

The initial acquisition entails a purchase from the founder and an additional two stockholders of approximately 51% of the outstanding shares of SMRE pursuant to a standard share purchase agreement, for an aggregate investment of approximately $77 million, with 50% to be paid in cash and the remaining 50% to be paid in shares of SolarEdge common stock. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks and will be followed by a mandatory tender offer in which SolarEdge intends to offer to purchase in an all cash transaction, subject to regulatory reviews and approvals, the remaining outstanding ordinary shares of SMRE, that are currently listed on the Italian AIM stock exchange, with the goal of SMRE becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of SolarEdge.

— Solar Builder magazine

3 EV Trends to Know For Car-Buying Season

Toyota recently unveiled this 2015 FCEV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Photo credit: Union of Concerned Scientists

Springtime is the time of year where we start to see the first signs of growth; the green shoots of what will turn into a verdant garden or a bountiful harvest. As the first quarter of 2014 comes to a close, we are seeing some encouraging signs that both electric vehicle sales and their benefits will continue to grow this year.

Fuel cell vehicles are coming

Toyota and Hyundai will be rolling out their new fuel cell vehicles within a year. Hyundai’s hydrogen-powered SUV will be leased in Southern California starting this spring and Toyota will follow with a sporty sedan in early 2015 in “significant numbers,” according to the manufacturer.

Hydrogen fuel cells marry the advantages of clean, efficient electric vehicles with the convenience of fast refueling. Hydrogen made today from natural gas gives about the same total emissions per mile as charging a plug-in vehicle with electricity generated from natural gas. But hydrogen can (and will, based on California’s renewable hydrogen requirements) also be made from renewable sources like biomass and solar power, so in the future hydrogen-powered vehicles will be even cleaner.

A key advantage of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is that they can be refueled at a filling station in a short time. This means that drivers who would rather not plug in a battery electric car can still use a clean electric motor to get around. The filling time is about the same as a gasoline vehicle, about five to ten minutes for a 300-mile range.

The U.S. has almost 200,000 electric vehicles on the road. Graphic credit: Union of Concerned Scientists

The U.S. has almost 200,000 electric vehicles on the road. Graphic credit: Union of Concerned Scientists


 
EV sales doubled in 2013 and more plug-in models are on the horizon

Sales of EVs, including both plug-in hybrids and battery electrics, continue to rise. More than 90,000 EVs were sold in the U.S. in 2013—more than double 2012 EV sales. In California, sales of EVs also increased more than 100 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year, and the state was home to nearly half (46 percent) of all new plug-in vehicles in the U.S. In 2013, plug-in cars were 2.5 percent of new vehicle sales in California.

Looking forward to 2014, new models of EVs will hit showrooms this year. BMW is already reporting significant interest in its upcoming battery electric i3 car and other EVs from Kia, Cadillac and VW are either in showrooms or on the way. As new models and types of electric vehicles become available, consumers will have more choices to reduce fuel costs and emissions than ever before.

Monthly sales volumes of EVs are increasing rapidly. Graphic credit: Union of Concerned Scientists

Monthly sales volumes of EVs are increasing rapidly. Graphic credit: Union of Concerned Scientists


 
The benefits of electric vehicles are growing

Electric vehicles are reducing oil consumption and global warming emissions while saving consumers millions of dollars at the pump. Americans have purchased almost 170,000 plug-in vehicles in the last three years. These vehicles are avoiding the burning of 45 million gallons of gasoline per year and saving Americans over $100 million per year in avoided fuel costs.

Californians have saved the most, cutting $40 million in annual fuel costs and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by 140 thousand tons per year.

If the spring’s trends continue, these benefits will only increase.

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