BorgWarner and Romeo Power Technology Form EV Battery Module Joint Venture

May 09, 2019 by Scott McMahan

BorgWarner has agreed to form a joint venture with Romeo Power Technology, a battery module and pack supplier. This new joint venture will be a 60/40 split with BorgWarner obtaining the larger share.

"This joint venture will not only complement our strong existing propulsion portfolio, but we expect it to fill a gap in the marketplace between battery cell manufacturers and hybrid and electric vehicle customers," said Joel Wiegert, President and General Manager BorgWarner Morse Systems. "We believe our global engineering and manufacturing footprint enables us to quickly commercialize cutting-edge technology, delivering even more value to our customers."

BorgWarner believes bringing together its customer, product launch and quality excellence with Romeo's battery module and pack technology will meet a broad range of customers' battery-electric vehicle needs. (See image above of Romeo battery pack).

The battery modules and packs from the joint venture are expected to include intelligent battery management systems with proprietary algorithms intended to improve performance and cycle life, as well as proprietary thermal management for active and passive cooling.

The addition of battery packs will strengthen BorgWarner's existing product portfolio for hybrid and electric vehicles that already includes electric motors, on-board battery chargers, EV drive trains, power electronics, high-voltage battery heaters, and much more.

"This joint venture will help Romeo take a big step in the battery mobility sector by adding BorgWarner's scale and resources," said Michael Patterson, Romeo Power Technology Founder and CEO. "Romeo has a fantastic team that has accomplished a lot in the last four years. And now we'll continue our progress, with the ability and resources to grow and accomplish our mission of advancing energy technology."

The joint venture will comprise the mobility portion of the battery pack business, initially targeting markets for performance and light vehicles.

Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, BorgWarner will also take a 20% equity share of Romeo Power Technology and will fill two seats on its board. The investment and the joint venture are expected to close in Q2 of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.

History BorgWarner Business Strategy

BorgWarner's planned acquisition of companies involved in vehicle electrification, to complement its organic efforts, began in 2015 with the acquisition of Remy International, Inc., a producer of rotating electrical components such as starter motors, alternators, and electric traction motors for the automotive and commercial vehicle industry.

Then, in 2017, BorgWarner acquired Sevcon Inc., a global company involved in vehicle electrification technologies. Sevcon augments BorgWarner's power electronics capabilities and also added on-board charging to the portfolio.

In February 2019, BorgWarner reported that it launched Cascadia Motion and acquired two Oregon-based businesses, AM Racing Inc. and Rinehart Motion Systems LLC and merged their operations into a new, wholly owned company devoted to electric and hybrid propulsion solutions for niche and emerging applications.

These acquisitions, along with the new joint venture, are significant milestones as BorgWarner continues its efforts to become a propulsion systems leader for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles.