Volvo Cars has recently disclosed its investment in Leadrive, a Shanghai-based company specializing in power electronics and controls for electric vehicles. Founded in 2017, Leadrive has notably collaborated with industry giants such as Schaeffler and SAIC-Volkswagen on silicon carbide (SiC) e-axles.
Although the exact amount of investment from Volvo Cars Tech Fund remains undisclosed, the carmaker's venture capital arm has confirmed its acquisition of a minority stake in Leadrive as part of the latest funding round. This strategic move aligns with Volvo's commitment to vertical integration and its electrification roadmap, emphasizing collaboration with key partners. Volvo has made significant strides in technology investments, opting to build critical components in-house rather than outsourcing.
Leadrive specializes in the development and production of silicon carbide power modules, a material poised to revolutionize electric propulsion systems by enhancing efficiency and flexibility. According to Volvo, Leadrive's technology holds substantial potential for more efficient electric drivetrains.
Alexander Petrofski, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, expressed enthusiasm about the investment, stating that Leadrive's technology closely aligns with Volvo's electrification focus. The partnership aims to support Leadrive's continued growth.
Jie Shen, founder and CEO of Leadrive, acknowledged the close collaboration between the two companies in advancing SiC technologies, which has paved the way for strategic cooperation.
Volvo Cars has set an ambitious target to transition into a fully electric car manufacturer by 2030. The recent investment in battery technology, electric motors, inverters, and battery management software underscores Volvo's commitment to controlling the entire electrical propulsion system in their future electric vehicles.
The Volvo Cars Tech Fund, established in 2018, focuses on investments in transformative areas, including artificial intelligence, electrification, autonomous driving, sustainability, and digital commerce, solidifying Volvo's dedication to innovation and technological advancement.