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Siemens Targets Electric Car Business

Siemens Targets Electric Car Business

Introduced at the China Electric Vehicle Symposium in October 2010, Siemens' Inside Electric Cars business unit has as its goal to be one of the world's principal providers of key components for automobiles and light commercial vehicles powered only by electricity. Inside Electric Cars is part of Siemens' Drive Technologies Division and will initially focus on electric motors, inverters and onboard charging systems.

Siemens chose to announce the launch of the new business unit at the China Electric Vehicle Symposium largely due to the government of Shenzhen's recent announcement of plans to spend $30 billion RNB (about U.S. $4.5 billion) to adapt its infrastructure to support more electric vehicle use - targeted largely at mass and personal transportation as well as charging stations.

The Inside Electric Cars division is headquartered in Erlangen, Germany, and also has additional development capabilities in Shanghai.

Other major industrial players also targeting the burgeoning electric car market include Bosch, Mitsubishi, Continental, and Delphi.

" The aim of the Inside Electric Cars division is to provide a wide range of electric motors and power electronics products for electrically driven serial production automobiles suited to the varying needs of individual automobile manufacturers," says Michael Siebert, head of communications for the Siemens Inside Electric Cars division. 

Pointing out that this new venture into the electric car business is being built on Siemens' more than 100 years of electric motors experience, Siebert says Inside Electric Cars will work toward developing better motors for electric vehicles with a single speed gearbox as well as developing multi-motor concepts.

Siebert adds that Siemens is evaluating an expansion of the division to address additional electrical components and subsystems.

Currently, the new division is in the product development process together with customers and technology partners.  Siemens expects that when a joint concept is agreed upon, the start of series production will typically take at least 36 months, according to Siebert. Initial product development will focus on new electric vehicle powertrains.

Also involved with Siemens' Inside Electric Cars initiative are the company's Smart Grid initiative (part of Siemens Energy division), through which recharging infrastructure will be developed to support electric cars and the management of stored power when cars are plugged in and recharging; OSRAM for LED car lighting; and Siemens PLM for lifecycle design.

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