The FUCHS Group, which operates globally in the lubricants industry, has taken over 28 percent of the shares in E-Lyte Innovations GmbH. This young company develops and produces groundbreaking liquid electrolytes for high-performance batteries in the industrial and automotive sectors. "We are setting foot on new terrain outside the classic applications for lubricants. The world is changing rapidly and we don’t just want to keep pace, we want to actively meet the future: by entering a very exciting, globally fast-growing market with significant business potential," comments Stefan Fuchs, Chairman of the Executive Board, explaining the reasons behind the recent investment.
The Group launched its FUCHS2025 strategy program back in 2019. Over the next few years, this program will help the company take advantage of the opportunities presented by the megatrends of digitalization, sustainability, and e-mobility. The new investment will also feed into this, as it grants FUCHS access to the fast-growing market for electrolytes. This market is set to become increasingly important, particularly in and out of Europe, since
electrolytes represent a key component of the lithium-ion batteries used in countless applications, including e-mobility. FUCHS is investing around EUR 8 million in this new area of activity. The share purchase agreement also opens up the possibility of acquiring further shares on a step-by-step basis over time.
"Although this market is uncharted territory for us, at FUCHS we are experts in developing custom-made solutions for special customer requirements and a very wide range of functional fluid applications worldwide," adds the CEO. One thing the two new partners have in common is the fact that they are not looking to serve the mass market, but rather focus on promising high-performance applications. The investment represents an important step and extends FUCHS' expertise in the field of e-mobility. The Group already extended its portfolio in 2020 with FUCHS BluEV, a dedicated product line for the latest e-mobility applications.
The E-Lyte product technology also focuses on meeting specific requirements and is based on special performance characteristics, such as faster battery charging times. These are not only of vital importance for electric cars, but also hold potential for many other promising areas, such as drones, medical engineering, high and low temperature applications, or the aerospace sector.
"There is no longer one universal electrolyte for batteries and the differences between those available are becoming more and more pronounced. The rapidly developing battery technologies for a broad range of applications are causing skyrocketing demand for customized electrolyte formulas and ever larger production volumes. In order to cater for this, we need a local supply chain, not only because the electrolyte doesn't permit long delivery and storage times because of its limited shelf life," says Dr. Ralf Wagner, Managing Partner of E-Lyte Innovations GmbH.
In the next step, the required production infrastructure will be established jointly at the FUCHS location in Kaiserslautern, Germany to facilitate industrialization, scaling, and further growth. Funds are in particular being invested in the production facilities and laboratory equipment. Production is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2023.
German enterprise Customcells Holding GmbH, a leading international company in the development of special, high-performance lithium-ion battery cells, is the third partner in the joint venture.
Mannheim, May 25, 2022
FUCHS PETROLUB SE
Tel. +49 (0)621 3802 1104
The following information can be accessed via the Internet:
Image and video material: https://www.fuchs.com/gb-en/photo-gallery/
Founded in 1931 as a family business in Mannheim, FUCHS is now the world's largest independent supplier of innovative lubrication solutions, covering almost every industry and application. Today, the company's 6,000 employees in over 50 countries still share the same goal: to keep the world moving both sustainably and efficiently. To live up to this claim, we think in terms of perfection, not merely standards. When developing individual solutions, we enter into an intensive customer dialogue – acting as an experienced consultant, innovative problem solver and reliable team partner.
About E-Lyte Innovations
E-Lyte Innovations GmbH operates out of the city of Münster in Germany, where it develops and produces groundbreaking electrolytes for modern energy storage technologies with a focus on specific requirements. The company was founded in 2019 as a startup, splitting away from the MEET Battery Research Center at the University of Münster (WWU). It is supported by the EXIST Transfer of Research pre-seeding program, which itself is financed both by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the European Social Fund. The team currently has twelve members.
CUSTOMCELLS is a leading company in the development and series production of state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery cells. Based on flexible manufacturing concepts and state-of-the-art research and production facilities, CUSTOMCELLS develops and produces high-tech solutions in the field of electrodes, electrolytes, battery cells and battery modules –tailored to the respective requirement profile of its customers. The customer spectrum covers a wide range of industries – with a focus on the automotive, marine, oil & gas and, in the future, aviation sectors.
At the signing of the contract (from left): Dr. Stephan Röser (Head of Production E-Lyte Innovations GmbH
), Kay-Peter Wagner
(Managing Director FUCHS SCHMIERSTOFFE GmbH), Torge Thönnessen (Managing Director Customcells Holding GmbH), Stefan Knapp
(Chairman of the Executive Board FUCHS SCHMIERSTOFFE GmbH
), Dr. Ralf Wagner
(Managing Director E-Lyte Innovations GmbH), Dr. Kolja Beltrop (Head of Research & Development E-Lyte Innovations GmbH