Swiss battery maker Leclanché will supply Skoda with scalable battery systems for its range of e-buses
Leclanché is to supply battery solutions to Skoda Electric as it expands its electric bus programme.
The two have signed a joint development agreement and framework purchase contract in which Leclanché will provide Skoda Electric with equipment for an initial term of five years.
Leclanché says it wll supply large G/ NMC batteries for overnight charging, as well as “ultra-fast” smaller LTO battery packs for more regular charging, such as at bus stations during the day for Skoda’s range of e-buses. These solutions will be modular, with a view to powering the full range of Skoda buses, from 6m to 26m.
The first targeted delivery of the partnership will be the release of a battery system by the end of this year, scalable between 50 – 350kWh and certified for the European market according to ECE-R100.r2.
Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché, said: “In 2015 Leclanché unveiled its first all-electric bus in Belgium. Now the European e-bus industry is at a watershed moment as proven battery technology and tighter environmental legislation make electric buses economically competitive with diesel… The industry is set to see considerable growth in the next few years and we look forward to the economic contribution that the agreement with Skoda Electric will make to Leclanché’s transport business.”
In addition to e-buses, the Joint Development Agreement covers battery systems for a comprehensive range of uses, from passenger vehicles to off-road equipment.
The deal follows the unveiling of Skoda’s first concept EV earlier in the year. Parent Volkswagen Group has for now based its electric portfolio on Samsung SDI cells, so it’s unclear as to whether there are further opportunities for Leclanché going forward.
However, with demand for electric buses rising, there remain considerable opportunities for the battery maker and bus manufacturer alike, should the partnership prove fruitful.