Deere to acquire Austrian battery technology provider

Deere & Co. has inked a deal to acquire majority ownership in Kreisel Electric, Inc., a battery technology provider based in Rainbach im Mühlkreis, Austria, the Moline-based company announced in a news release Tuesday.

The investment, Deere said, provides the company with optimal integration to efficiently design vehicles and powertrains around superior immersion-cooled, high-density battery technology. The global ag equipment-maker said it will leverage Kreisel’s battery-buffered charging technology to build out infrastructure to support global customers. 

Kreisel, a family-run company located in a town of 3,000 in Upper Austria, develops high-density, high-durability electric battery modules and packs. Deere said Kreisel also has developed a charging infrastructure platform (CHIMERO) that uses this patented battery technology. 

Deere projects that demand will grow for batteries as a sole- or hybrid-propulsion system for off-highway vehicles. Products in John Deere’s portfolio such as turf equipment, compact utility tractors, small tractors, compact construction and some road building equipment could rely solely on batteries as a primary power source, the company said.

Financial details of the Kreisel deal were not disclosed Tuesday. The transaction requires final regulatory approval in Austria, and closing is expected in about 60 days. 

The Kreisel acquisition also strongly aligns with Deere’s electrification and sustainability goals.

“Since 2014, Kreisel has been a leading innovator focused on the development of immersion-cooled electric battery modules and packs for high-performance and off-highway applications,” Deere said. Kreisel “has a differentiated battery technology and battery-buffered charging infrastructure offering and currently serves a global customer base across multiple end markets, including commercial vehicles, off-highway vehicles, marine, e-motorsports, and other high-performance applications.”

According to Pierre Guyot, senior vice president, John Deere Power Systems, “Kreisel’s battery technology can be applied across the broad portfolio of Deere products, and Kreisel’s in-market experience will benefit Deere as we ramp up our battery-electric vehicle portfolio. Deere will provide the expertise, global footprint, and funding to enable Kreisel to continue its fast growth in core markets. This is an opportunity to invest in a company with unique technology that’s designed for the demanding conditions where Deere customers work.”

He also said “building an electrified portfolio is key to John Deere’s sustainability goal of pursuing new technologies that reduce the environmental impact of new products and work toward zero emissions propulsion systems on equipment, while increasing our customers’ efficiency and productivity.”

Kreisel Electric will retain its employees, brand name, and trademark and continue to operate from its current Austria location to serve its growing customer base,
Deere said. The company was founded by brothers Johann, Markus and Philipp Kreisel, and has approximately 160 full-time employees.

“Our vision is to provide the best battery technology solutions to customers, which we have proven in over 150 successful projects,” Kreisel’s website says.

In a joint statement, the Kreisel brothers said the Kreisel team look forward to expanding its base business, leveraging the Deere channel to accelerate adoption of battery-electric vehicles and charging stations, and working with Deere’s vehicle design teams on product advancements.

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