BMW iVentures has invested in a new electric motor technology developed by startup DeepDrive. The California-based firm secured a co-lead investment of $16.1m in its Series A funding round, which was also supported by UVC Partners, Bayern Kapital with Wachstumsfonds Bayern, Continental’s Corporate Venture Capital Unit and renowned automotive manager Dr. Peter Mertens.
DeepDrive’s dual-rotor motor is designed to extend the range of electric vehicles while reducing costs and resource usage. The motor includes power electronics and can be installed as a central or in-wheel drive in any vehicle. The technology is patented and offers high torque density, which is achieved in a cost-efficient and resource-friendly way, thereby reducing environmental impact.
Marcus Behrendt, Managing Director at BMW i Ventures, said the company’s involvement with DeepDrive could set new standards for e-mobility. He said the highly efficient e-motors offer major advantages in terms of weight, cost, and space. Behrendt added that the technology enables the next generation of efficient and resource-saving electric vehicles and is designed for easy and cost-effective mass production.
DeepDrive is working with eight of the top ten OEMs and is aiming to bring the technology to production by 2026. The start-up plans to use the fresh capital to manufacture its motors, increase headcount to respond to high demand from OEM customers and secure first series commitments.
Co-founder and CEO Felix Pörnbacher said he believes DeepDrive’s technology will revolutionize vehicle electrification. With the dual-rotor technology, Pörnbacher said DeepDrive is significantly more cost-effective and efficient on the road, shaping tomorrow’s electromobility. He thanked BMW i Ventures, Continental’s corporate venture capital unit, and the other investors for their confidence.