This is indeed a big year for Protean Electric as it has recently been granted $70m new funding by GO Scale Capital, Zhejiang VIE Science & Technology Co. Ltd., and Tianjin THSG Corporation. The investment follows the company’s announcement in May that it is establishing a production site in Tianjin, China to commercialize its model PD18 in-wheel motor to meet customer demand.
Protean will use the new funding to boost production of its PD18 product line in China, and for product development and formation of a production joint venture with VIE. This joint venture will involve in production and marketing of other in-wheel motor products.
The company’s in-wheel motors convert electricity directly into power and eliminate energy waste in power transmission. Ideal for both commercial and passenger vehicles, these motors can improve an electrified vehicle’s energy efficiency by up to 15 percent compared to a centralized motor in an electric powertrain.
In a statement, Protean Electric CEO KY Chan said that this funding speeds up the adoption of their cutting-edge technology in the growing electric vehicle market in China. He added that Protean’s in-wheel drive technology is the most versatile, cost-effective and energy efficient method to add electrification to conventional gas-powered vehicles or develop a new breed of pure EVs.
China targets to have five million new energy vehicles on the road by 2020, and has focused on electrification of buses and logistics vehicles to attain that goal. Protean’s in-wheel motors are designed for electrification of China’s passenger, SUV, MPV, and light commercial vehicles.
Meanwhile, vehicle manufacturers in China should meet increasingly stringent fuel economy standards, reaching 5 liter per 100 kilometers by 2020. Protean’s in-wheel motors and accompanying proprietary technology directly address this market requirement.
VIE Group president Leal Jiang Chen commented that as a strategic investor, they are glad to support Protean’s growth in China and other significant automotive markets. He noted that VIE’s solid customer base, its wide array of chassis products, and its production prowess are highly complementary to Protean’s technology leadership. “Together, we look forward to great mutual success.”
Tianjin THSG Corporation (Tanhas) chairman and founder Frank Chao Lyu continued that Protean has developed a next-gen powertrain with greater potential than anything he has seen in his three decades in the automotive industry.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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