Deutz Ag has acquired German electric and hybrid drive specialist Torqeedo in a move designed to accelerate the market launch of the technology in the off-highway sector. Founded 12 years ago, and active in more than 50 countries on five continents, Torqeedo develops and manufactures electric and hybrid drives from 0.5kW to 100kW for leisure and commercial applications, and is the global leader when it comes to electric drives for boats.

Chairman of the Deutz Ag management board Dr Frank Hiller said the acquisition will enable the company to gain electrical expertise far more quickly than with a stand-alone solution and to electrify its product range where it makes sense from a technical and financial perspective. “The acquisition will give us a significant advantage in a very fast-moving and competitive environment and marks the start of our E-Deutz strategy,” he said.

The next round of diesel engine emissions (Stage V) comes into force in 2019 for the off-highway sector. Deutz has TCD engines ready and waiting, and reckons these will continue to remain the instrument of choice when the requirement is for high power. However, alternative drives will play an important role in the company’s core segments in the future, is the message, where the German engine maker sees possibilities to reduce emissions and CO2, and to downsize internal combustion engine sizes to lower fuel consumption and operating costs. The company is initially investing around €100 million (includes Torqeedo acquisition) in the new strategy, and plans to market the first products under the E-Deutz strategy in around two years.