Tesla buys ultra-capacitor maker Maxwell
American electric car maker, Tesla, is taking over fellow-American Maxwell Technologies, expert in ultra-capacitors, start-stop systems for cars and battery technology. Earlier Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, called this short-term energy storage technology key to the future of the electric car.
Tesla will pay – if competition authorities give the green light – 218 million dollar with its own shares, being $4,75 a share or a +55% premium. Maxwell shareholders reacted positively, pushing up the shares by 50% shortly after Nasdaq opened. Tesla shareholders tended to be less enthusiastic with shares going down 3% initially and recovering later.
Quick burst of energy
Ultra-capacitors can deliver quick bursts of energy during peak power demands, then quickly store energy and capture excess power that is otherwise lost. They can discharge and recharge a lot faster than batteries or fuel cells which are good at delivering a constant lower source of power.
These ultra-capacitors are used in regenerative braking systems and voltage stabilization in start-stop systems, among others. In hybrid vehicles, ultra-capacitors can reduce battery drain and lengthen battery life span, for instance.
Supplier for several car makers
Today San Diego-based Maxwell – not to be confused with the Japanese company that also makes batteries – can count car makers like Chinese-Swedish Geely/Volvo, America’s biggest car maker General Motors, French PSA group, German automotive supplier, Continental, and Italian sports car maker, Lamborghini, among its clients.
Although this capacitor technology is seen as an important alternative energy source, Maxwell did not ‘do so well’ last year. In the first nine months of 2018 it saw a 30 million dollar loss on a 72 million turnover. The company, founded in 1965, employs 380 people and has offices in the US, China, Germany and South Korea.
On outlook for Model 3 arrival
Meanwhile in Europe, Tesla-fans are looking out eagerly to the arrival of the Model 3 cars in Belgian sea port Zeebrugge to be distributed over Europe. On the internet pictures are circulating of the car carrier Glovis Captain taking new Teslas on board in San Fransisco.
In December news broke that a first ro-ro ship with 3.000 Tesla Model 3s should dock in February 2019. Tesla announced beginning of December it will start delivering its Model 3 in all major European countries from February on.
Tesla is hiring
The American car maker was literally advertising ‘Tesla is coming to Zeebrugge’ on several job sites to look for more than 100 people to handle – with car processing company ICO – the shipments from the US.
If all went well, the Clovis Captain should have arrived on Monday night in Zeebrugge, but neither International Car Operators (ICO), nor Tesla itself wanted to confirm or comment so far.