Deere to acquire majority of Austrian battery company

By Chad Elmore15 December 2021

Kreisel Electric produces battery technology for e-mobility and stationary systems.

batteries Kreisel Electric opened its research and development center in September 2017.

Deere & Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire majority ownership in Kreisel Electric, Inc., a battery technology provider based in Rainbach im Mühlkreis, Austria. Kreisel develops high-density, high-durability electric battery modules and packs. Additionally, Kreisel has developed a charging infrastructure platform (CHIMERO) that utilizes this patented battery technology.

Since 2014, Kreisel has been focused on the development of immersion-cooled electric battery modules and packs for high-performance and off-highway applications. Deere said the company has a differentiated battery technology and battery-buffered charging infrastructure offering and currently serves a global customer base across multiple end markets, including commercial vehicles, off-highway vehicles, marine, e-motorsports, and other high-performance applications.

John Deere sees demand growing for batteries as a sole- or hybrid-propulsion system for off-highway vehicles. Products in Deere’s portfolio such as turf equipment, compact utility tractors, small tractors, compact construction, and some road building equipment could rely solely on batteries as a primary power source.

Deere intends to continue to invest in and develop technologies to innovate, deliver value to customers, and work towards a future with zero emissions propulsion systems.

The majority investment in Kreisel Electric is expected to allow Deere to integrate vehicle and powertrain designs around high-density battery packs while leveraging Kreisel’s charging technology to build out infrastructure required for customer adoption.

“Kreisel’s battery technology can be applied across the broad portfolio of Deere products, and Kreisel’s in-market experience will benefit Deere as we ramp up our battery-electric vehicle portfolio. Deere will provide the expertise, global footprint, and funding to enable Kreisel to continue its fast growth in core markets,” said Pierre Guyot, senior vice president, John Deere Power Systems.

“This is an opportunity to invest in a company with unique technology that’s designed for the demanding conditions where Deere customers work.

“Furthermore, building an electrified portfolio is key to John Deere’s sustainability goal of pursuing new technologies that reduce the environmental impact of new products and work toward zero emissions propulsion systems on equipment, while increasing our customers’ efficiency and productivity.”

Kreisel Electric will retain its employees, brand name, and trademark, and continue to operate from its current location in Austria to serve its customer base.

The company was founded by brothers Johann, Markus, and Philipp Kreisel and has approximately 160 full-time employees.

In a joint statement, Johann, Markus, and Philipp Kreisel said the Kreisel team looks forward to expanding its base business, leveraging the Deere channel to accelerate adoption of battery-electric vehicles and charging stations, and working with Deere’s vehicle design teams on product advancements.

The transaction requires final regulatory approval in Austria, with closing expected to take place in approximately 60 days. Financial details are not being disclosed.

In November 2020, Kreisel Electric announced a battery solution that combined its lithium-ion battery module technology with thermal management fluid from Shell. The battery technology system can be used in passenger and commercial electric vehicles, as well as in other sector applications requiring high performance electric batteries. 

Kreisel Electric’s laser-welded battery solution includes single cell fusing and controlled de-gasing channels. This in turn is combined with high energy cells and results in what the company said was an “excellent power-to-weight ratio and extended battery lifetime when compared to common conventional batteries, while still delivering critical battery stability and safety.”

Shell has developed a specialised non-conductive thermal management fluid, which immerses the battery cells in the Kreisel battery.

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