BMW i Ventures announced a co-lead investment in the $16.1-million Series A round for startup DeepDrive. DeepDrive has developed a cost- and resource-efficient dual-rotor motor, extending the range of electric vehicles. Other investors include UVC Partners, Bayern Kapital with Wachstumsfonds Bayern, and Continental’s Corporate Venture Capital Unit. The company is also backed by automotive industry veteran Dr. Peter Mertens.
The patented DeepDrive dual-rotor, radial flux machine combines an inner and outer rotor with two air gaps and benefits from very high material utilization and lowest iron losses. The key enabler for the dual-rotor concept is a new distributed winding concept with a slot-filling factor above 80%. In combination with an integrated SiC MOSFET inverter, the DeepDrive drive units deliver highest system efficiencies of above 98%.
Exploded in-wheel drive configuration of DeepDrive dual-rotor motor.
The motor can be installed in any vehicle as a central drive or as an in-wheel drive. The patented technology increases the range of vehicles, achieves high torque density, is cost-efficient to manufacture and requires fewer natural resources; in turn, reducing environmental impact. DeepDrive says that their motor will have less than 30% of the cost per N·m in comparison to current state-of-the-art motors.
With its patented and unique e-motor architecture, DeepDrive could set new standards for e-mobility. The highly efficient e-motors offer major advantages in terms of weight, cost and space. They enable the next generation of efficient and resource-saving electric vehicles. DeepDrive’s e-motor technology is designed for easy and cost-effective mass production. We are pleased that our involvement can help this new technology achieve a breakthrough.—Marcus Behrendt, Managing Director at BMW i Ventures
The DeepDrive team is working with eight of the top ten OEMs and is on track to bring its technology to production by 2026.
With the fresh capital, the company plans to start manufacturing its motors, increase its headcount to respond to the high demand from OEM customers and win first series commitments.