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Why John Deere’s purchase of a company known for EV speedboats makes perfect sense

7th April 2022. San Nazzaro. Italy. Pictures of the E1 Race Series ‘RaceBird’ RB01. The foiling electric race boat shown here testing for the first time. Photo by Lloyd Images

Back in 2017, Kreisel Electric built Arnold Schwarzenegger’s electric G-Wagen and classic Hummer EV. Nowadays, the company is more about electric speedboat racing. Why does John Deere care? Batteries and charging.

Kreisel is an Austrian EV tech company founded in 2014 by the three Kreisel brothers: Philipp, Johann and Markus. After electrifying an old Beetle in their garage, they quickly built the world’s fastest-accelerating electric go kart, which could jump to 62mph in 3.1 seconds. Just eight years into the highly-competitive electrification game, Kreisel becomes part of the Deere & Company empire, having just been acquired by John Deere.

As reports, Kreisel Electric’s marine portfolio includes the world’s fastest production electric boat, the Carbon SAY 29, as well as a partnership with the E1 racing series and its foiling raceboat prototype known as the RaceBird. This futuristic boat uses Kreisel’s 150 kW battery pack, which powers an outboard motor produced by Mercury Racing.

Having supplied battery technology to Mercedes-Benz, the Volkswagen Group and others as a Tier 1 partner, Kriesel also produced the Škoda Kreisel RE-X1 electric rally cross car. As of this year, the company continues to work on other World RX1e projects, as well as the ongoing hybridization of WRC.

So why does John Deere care?

Electric foil boats must be a lot of fun, but perhaps more important in Kriesel’s core lineup is its high-speed charging platform called CHIMERO. This can charge an EV from 0-80% in 20 minutes, and is easily installed in remote areas, right where John Deere’s products are already hard at work.

Kriesel Electric patented two battery features that are pushing the envelope in energy density and longevity. The first is their Hollowblock cooling system, which surrounds the cells with non-conductive liquid to improve heat management. Their second patent is even more complex, featuring a contact spring and lasers instead of welding for each cell in a module, resulting in a fuse for each along with increased conductivity in general.

With this latest development, it’s now up to John Deere to make the most of the Austrian company’s battery know-how. Expect heaps of cleverly managed electric torque added to your most desired piece of heavy machinery.

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