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Transformation at stake

Volvo Penta is expanding its capabilities, experience, and range by acquiring a majority stake in ZEM AS, a Norwegian marine battery and electric driveline solutions supplier.

“Volvo Penta’s vision is to become a leader in sustainable power solutions, where we are driving transformation on land and at sea towards a more sustainable society,” explains Heléne Mellquist, President of Volvo Penta. “With this acquisition, we are now able to offer driveline solutions for marine customers through ZEM and also contribute to the broader marine electromobility footprint through battery supply. It is a step forward in our transformation and will also allow Volvo Penta to capture new opportunities.”

ZEM’s core team has a background in electromobility that dates back to 1993. In 2009, ZEM was founded as an advisor to the maritime and offshore sector to design battery and hybrid solutions. Today, the company has delivered battery solutions to many different applications, ranging from ferries, offshore supply vessels, and high-speed passenger ships, to lifeboats and the booming aquaculture sector. Among its pioneering solutions are the battery systems to the SMM 2016 Ship of the Year “Vision of the Fjords” as well as the world’s fastest battery-driven catamaran “Ryger Elektra” and the first electric free-fall lifeboats “Viking Norsafe.”

“As a part of the Volvo Group’s great electromobility initiatives, Volvo Penta has a solid technology foundation to leverage. Marine electromobility, however, has a unique set of requirements,” explains Peter Granqvist, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Penta. “There are very specific considerations that are of the utmost importance around the installation environment, safety, as well as the use case itself plus the current lack of charging infrastructure.”

“We believe that bringing different perspectives and experiences together is key when it comes to developing, and progressing, within the field of marine electromobility,” he continues. “The ambition of this fantastic acquisition is to take another step forward in our electromobility development, thanks to the specialized marine competence and offer that ZEM has today.”

ZEM will remain operating under its current brand, and under the leadership of Egil Mollestad, the long-term CEO of ZEM and a recognised pioneer in the maritime sector.

“I look forward to working with Volvo Penta. This will allow us to grow, with regards to both technology and channels for sales and aftermarket support,” says Egil Mollestad.

The collaboration between Volvo Penta and ZEM is expected to grow gradually; although ZEM will continue to grow its battery and complete driveline business, over time the two companies will create complete packages together.

“The switch from diesel-based technology to electrification will be a key element in our transformation, alongside other new technological advancements,” says Heléne Mellquist. “The electrification journey will be reinforced through strong collaboration with stakeholders – customers, business partners, and like-minded industry experts.”

Exhibitor: Volvo Penta

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