The technology partnership with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the parent company of Volvo. Lotus and Geely Auto, will see the integration of ultracapacitors and advanced power conversion electronics into Geely's global automotive vehicle lineup in support of their fleet electrification strategy.
The collaboration will see Maxwell's ultracapacitor-based peak power subsystem used initially in five mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles for North America and Europe. The production ramp for these vehicles is slated to begin in late 2019 and will be worth $100m over the lifetime of the deal.
The ZGH group has three main businesses: Geely Auto Group, Volvo Car Group and Geely Commercial Vehicles Group. Its brands include Geely Auto, LYNK & CO, Volvo Car, Polestar, London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), Yuan Cheng Auto, PROTON, Lotus, and Terrafugia. ZGH sold over 1.8 million vehicles in 2017, with Volvo Car sales reaching historic highs of 571,577 cars globally and Geely Auto Group sales growing over 63% to reach 1,247,116 units in total.
The industry originally adopted ultracapacitors for start-stop applications but OEMs are now adopting ultracapacitors to deliver aggregate peak power to functions such as electric active-roll control, electric power steering, electro-turbocharging and energy recuperation in hybrid vehicles. They are also being adopted as an alternative or complementary energy storage source to batteries in power backup solutions for autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
"As we prepared to bring our new, high performance features into the mainstream of our next generation vehicles, it became evident that ultracapacitors would be essential to address the increasing electrification challenges the automotive industry is facing. In our global search for a partner who could develop and supply a sophisticated multi-function energy storage device, it became clear that Maxwell's deep automotive experience and technical know-how qualified them as the only choice," said Qingfeng Feng, Vice President and CTO of Geely.