Sevcon Leads Consortium to Develop New Drivetrain Technology for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

Sep 19, 2011

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass., Sept. 19, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sevcon, Inc. (Nasdaq:SEV), a global manufacturer of microprocessor based controls for zero emission electric vehicles, today announced that it is leading a collaborative project to develop a next generation of electric drivetrain systems for hybrid and pure electric vehicles (EVs).

Consisting of UK-based Cummins Generator Technologies and Newcastle University's Power Electronics and Drives Research Group along with Sevcon, the group has secured more than £500,000 in matched UK government funding to develop a highly innovative "no rare earth metals" electric drive system for EVs using advanced switched reluctance motor technology.

"Although global demand for hybrid and electric vehicles is likely to grow dramatically over the next 10 years, the automotive industry's ability to meet this demand is being challenged by constraints on the availability of the rare-earth magnets used in the motors that drive these vehicles," said Sevcon President and CEO Matt Boyle. "Our goal in this collaborative project is to solve this problem by developing for volume production a new electric motor technology that uses cutting-edge power electronics to eliminate the need for magnets incorporating rare earth metals. As well as providing sufficient power, the new generation system will be designed to be both cost-competitive and suitable for high-volume manufacture."

"Each member of this newly formed consortium brings unique capabilities to the project, ideally positioning us to succeed in this challenging initiative," Boyle said. "Our decades of experience in the field have earned Sevcon worldwide recognition as a leading supplier of advanced motor control technology to the international EV market. Cummins Generator Technologies, the largest manufacturer of electrical machines in the UK, has recently developed a hybrid electric motor for commercial vehicles and buses. Newcastle University augments this automotive drivetrain engineering and manufacturing experience by providing state-of-the-art EV research capability."

About Sevcon, Inc.

Sevcon is a world leader in the design and manufacture of microprocessor based controls for zero emission electric vehicles. The controls are used to vary the speed and movement of vehicles, to integrate specialized functions, and to optimize the energy consumption of the vehicle's power source. The company supplies customers throughout the world from its operations in the USA, the UK, France and the Asia Pacific region and through an international dealer network. Sevcon's customers are manufacturers of on and off road vehicles including cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, fork lift trucks, aerial lifts, mining vehicles, airport tractors, sweepers and other electrically powered vehicles. For more information visit

The Sevcon, Inc. logo is available at

Forward-Looking Statements

Forward-looking statements in this release about Sevcon's participation in a consortium to develop new drivetrain technology for hybrid and electric vehicles are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those we anticipate. In particular: the consortium could fail to achieve its goal; global demand for electric vehicles may not grow as much as we expect; our customers' products may not be as successful as those of other entrants in the electric vehicle market who are supplied by our competitors; continuing economic instability may cause customers to delay, decrease or cancel purchases of our products; we are dependent on a few key suppliers and subcontractors for most components, sub-assemblies and finished products, and we may not be able to establish alternative sources of supply in time if supplies are interrupted; we have a small number of key customers whose loss would adversely affect our results; and our worldwide operations are subject to the risks of international trade, including without limitation regional economic downturns, exchange rate fluctuations, and changing laws, regulatory practices and tariffs. Please see the company's most recent forms 10-K and 10-Q on file with the SEC for further information regarding Sevcon's risk factors.

CONTACT:  David Calusdian

          Sharon Merrill Associates

          1 (617) 542 5300


          Matt Boyle

          President and CEO

          1 (508) 281 5503