Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, one of the world’s leading specialists in sealing technologies for the auto industry, has strengthened its position in the energy and electric mobility sectors with an acquisition and a strategic investment. On May 15-17, the company is showcasing its wide array of products and solutions for electric motors and batteries at Stand #256 at this year’s Battery Show Europe in Hannover. They improve the safety, quality and operating life of motors and batteries.

“The successful development of markets and technologies depends on a core issue – energy – whether the work involves hybrids, vehicles with battery-powered electric motors or those using fuel cells as an energy source,” said Claus Möhlenkamp, CEO of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, the sealing specialist within the Freudenberg Group. “We have been doing research in this field for years within the Freudenberg Group. With the recent transactions, we now have extensive know-how and specific product and system solutions for the automotive and energy market segment for fuel cells and lithium ion batteries.”

In early 2018, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies acquired portions of the fuel cell manufacturer Elcore and its sister company Elcomax in Munich, Germany. Elcore was founded eight years ago as a highly innovation-driven startup. Its patents and patent filings now total 200, and its developments include an extremely efficient fuel cell for stationary applications with an overall efficiency of 104 percent. In addition, these products will also be developed further for mobile applications.

In February, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies also has acquired a minority stake in the U.S. firm XALT Energy, which is based in Midland, Mich. The company manufactures large-scale lithium ion battery cells, modules and systems for use in heavy-duty commercial vehicles such as city and transit buses, in the marine industry and in other industrial applications. XALT Energy is one of the leading manufacturers in this field in the United States, with more than 140 employees and over 40,000 square meters of high-grade automated cleanroom manufacturing. The company’s battery products have been used successfully in urban transit buses in major American cities such as New York and Los Angeles for several years.

“We consider our project with XALT Energy to be a long-term technological partnership. We will integrate core Freudenberg competencies such as quality, safety and sustainability into the development of its business and successfully expand them,” Möhlenkamp said. Under the agreements, Freudenberg will handle Sales & Marketing. “This will allow us to anchor activities more firmly in Europe, in addition to a focus on the U.S.,” Möhlenkamp said.

The company invested a sum in the mid-double-digit-million-euros range in the transactions, and organizational changes are accompanying the portfolio expansion. “We are bundling our fuell cell and battery business into a one new division which will exclusively handle this business for mobile and stationary applications,” Möhlenkamp said. “This will allow us to use our resources for these products as effectively as possible while quickly expanding and developing our activities for the long term.”

At the Battery Show Europe 2018 in Hannover, Germany, this week, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is highlighting a wide range of products relating to battery safety and efficiency. The presentation also covers components for thermal management such as thermally conductive plastic housings, fixation elements for pouch cells, the new pressure compensation element DIAvent and an innovative heatshield that keeps a single damaged cell from causing an entire battery module to overheat. The company’s products for lithium ion batteries will also be exhibited, including Curve Gaskets, offset seals, flat seals and two-component Plug & Seals. These products offer electric vehicles many advantages, including reductions in system weight, an adjustable design, complex seal geometries, and the chemical bonding of hard and soft materials inside the component to prevent leakage.