Taiwan’s TECO Electric and Machinery Co. and Phihong Technology Co. have announced to form a joint venture with Getka Group, an US-based company, to design, manufacture and distribute Level 2 and Level 3 rapid EV chargers in Oklahoma, targeting the electric passenger cars and e-bus market in the United States. In addition, the joint venture plans to add two EV manufacturing lines in the course of 18 months. Construction will start in August.
Getka Group is an integrated energy company providing engineering, construction and delivery of petroleum, refined products and solar energy. TECO-Westinghouse, TECO’s US subsidiary involved in the process, was formed when TECO acquired Westinghouse Motor Company.
Currently, TECO is the fifth largest provider of industrial motors in the world, and also Asia’s largest. Taking advantage of its speciality in motors, the company has been seeking to enter the EV market. Yu-Ren Huang, TECO’s current chairman, considers the rise of EV to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that cannot be missed by TECO.
Before Huang took the helm of leadership, TECO already missed a chance to enter the global EV supply chain. Twelve years ago, when Tesla was looking for motor suppliers in Taiwan, it approached TECO but was later turned down. In the end, Tesla went to Fukuta Electric & Machinery Co., another Taiwanese company, for its Roadster.
Nevertheless, since Huang took the leadership, TECO has been making gains in the markets for EV and charging infrastructure. Despite missing the opportunity to provide motors for Tesla, it got the chance to build Tesla superchargers in 2017. In the same year, TECO also provided contract manufacturing for Visedo, a Finnish manufacturer of electric drivetrains. In return, TECO gained access to Visedo’s expertise in permanent magnet assisted synchronous reluctance motor( PMASynRM)
Three years later, TECO released its modularized T Power series powertrain, based on PMASynRM, developed and manufactured on its own, and it also made TECO the first Taiwanese manufacturer to have the capability to produce electric motors as well as drivers/controllers. While the T Power series target passenger cars and light-weight commercial vehicles, TECO also released a modularized motor design for e- buses.
It is in the e-bus sector where TECO intends to lay the foundation for its expansion strategy: facilitated by Taiwan’s policy to promote homegrown e-buses and TECO’s own contract manufacturing experiences, the company seeks to enter the EV industry via the less competitive e-bus market. After securing the domestic market, it will set its sight on India and Southeast Asia where EV solutions are needed and no large automakers are present. With its global ambition, TECO also joined the Foxconn-initiated MIH Alliance.
Apart from its EV solution business, TECO has also been active in other relevant sectors, such as microgrid, automated guided vehicles and power plants.