Image: Rheinmetall Automotive’s electrical coolant pump
Germany’s Rheinmetall Automotive is known as a supplier of hard parts (pistons, blocks, cylinder heads, etc.) and mechatronics. However, CEO Horst Binnig says that “products with a cable” already constitute 40% of total sales. “We really see pure e-mobility more as an opportunity than a risk. The percentage of purely e-driven cars in the market today is very, very low. But the content per car in sales is comparatively high. As an example, those beautiful London cabs – the next series will be purely e-driven.”
The new electric London cabs Herr Binnig is referring to are manufactured by Chinese automaker Geely, and each includes four pumps made by Rheinmetall, representing about €200 in sales for the company for each car.
Another example is the cast aluminum drive unit block for an EV that the company currently has in development for an unnamed customer. “For us, it makes no difference to cast a four-cylinder engine block for a combustion engine or to cast a block for a medium-size e-machine,” said Binnig. “There is also thermal management; you need the radiator, you need a couple of valves, you need pumps, you need power for that. You have a second thermal management circuit for the battery.”
“If I look at the products we currently supply for the purpose of optimizing the drivetrain on an internal combustion engine, and compare these with what we currently have in our development pipeline for future types of drive systems, I arrive at a substantial growth in value. As early as 2020, electrification will account for over one half of our sales.”