Drives and Controls Magazine

Gateshead company motors to front of EV pack

15 February, 2010

A Gateshead company which designs and manufactures electronic control systems for electric vehicles, has recently reported first-quarter sales worth $6.3m, making it one of the global leaders in its sector.

Founded in 1962, Sevcon was acquired by Boston-based Tech/Ops in 1969, and is now listed on the US Nasdaq exchange. But its engineering headquarters remain in Gateshead, where it employs almost half of its global staff of 100.

“Although listed in the US, we are very much a North East company with a global reach,” says managing director, Matt Boyle.

Sevcon’s core markets have traditionally been zero-emission industrial vehicles such as forklifts, mining vehicles and aerial lifts. While these are still key markets, interest is growing in its products for road vehicles and electric bikes. Its customers include Toyota, Nissan, Ford and Hyundai.

Sevcon’s AC and DC controls linking electric vehicle batteries to their motorised functions. As well as controlling EV speeds, the controls also optimise energy consumption.

The company recently announced its most advanced controllers to date which, it claims, have the highest power density in the industry, allowing them to be integrated into tight spaces without compromising performance.