Punch Powertrain, a Belgium-based full-system supplier of fuel-efficient powertrains including transmissions and plug-in hybrid and battery-electric systems, is acquiring France-based power electronics expert Apojee.
Apojee has customers in the German and French automotive industry (both OEMs and Tier 1s), as well as in motorsports (inverters for Formula E and for Formula One). With this acquisition Punch Powertrain is rapidly increasing its R&D capacity in the field of power electronics with expertise covering the entire chain from product conception to production support.
This contributes to achieving the strategic objectives of Punch Powertrain—i.e., accelerated EV development and a stronger position in the field of electric and hybrid transmissions. Among the company’s current offerings are:
emKERS. The electro-mechanical Kinetic Energy Recovery System consists of a steel flywheel regulated by a 15 kW 48V machine and a power splitting planetary gear wheel system. The emKERS unit can be mounted on the rear axle of a front wheel-driven car. This addition gives the car extra peak capacity. With emKERS the car gets a certain level of All Wheel Drive capabilities while this addition also enables fuel savings as much as 15% without altering the front ICE powertrain.
Depending on the sizing of components and gear ratios, the emKERS unit delivers up to 60 kW of peak power capacity. As a result, the battery size of the system can be reduced, since the flywheel absorbs most of the energy peaks. Furthermore, the ICE can be downsized using a larger but slower turbo to retain power requirement. The dynamics of the slower turbo are supported by the high and instant peak dynamics of the emKERS. The combination of hybridization and engine downsizing can increase the total fuel saving up to 20%.
TwinMotor. Punch Powertrain developed the TwinMotor specifically for electric vehicles. The system allows steering each of the 4 wheels independently, enabling full torque vectoring capabilities. The TwinMotor itself is a compact unit with two identical motors and identical transmissions, with the motor shaft being integrated into the transmission. The supporting mounts are also integrated into the housing of the TwinMotor.
Like any e-axle, the TwinMotor can be used as a full 4eWD solution, a two wheel drive EV and a P4 PHEV solution.
TwinSpeed. The TwinSpeed gearbox uses an extra gear that increases an electric vehicle’s general performances and range by as much as 8%. With a planetary gear wheel system and simple control elements, the transmission is very compact and extremely flexible in ratio design.
The Apojee acquisition adds a fourth European development center for Punch Powertrain, in addition to the existing ones at its headquarters in Sint-Truiden (BE), Eindhoven (NL) and Flechtorf (DE).
In 2017, Punch Powertrain opened 3 new locations. In February, a new Iranian factory was inaugurated, indicating the start of installation of facilities for mass production. In July , Punch acquired TEG and in October the new, larger and improved factory in Nanjing (China) became operational. In addition, the workforce at the Eindhoven office grew by 42% to over 100 employees. The headquarters in Sint-Truiden welcomed 321—or about 37%—new employees in the same year.
The acquisition of Apojee will be followed by the opening of a new production plant in Ningbo (China) on 7 February. This new location of 106,859 m² will house the production lines of the current products from Nanjing. As applies to production at all international plats, the quality critical main components will be produced in Sint-Truiden.