From iPhones to e-axles: how one tech firm is pushing into electric vehicles

(Reuters) – The miniature motors that make iPhones buzz on silent helped power Japan’s Nidec to become a 1.5-trillion-yen ($14 billion) company.

FILE PHOTO: Nidec Corp’s logo is pictured at an earnings results news conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

In recent years, Nidec’s founder Shigenobu Nagamori has turned his attention to autos, and a technology which turns electricity stored in the battery into propulsion power.

This technology, called an e-axle or e-drive, is emerging as a new competitive front as the auto industry shifts to electric vehicles. By 2030, Nagamori says he wants a 35% slice of a global e-axle market that is forecast to be worth $20-30 billion a year by then, up from an estimated $2.8-$3 billion now.

He is betting that electric cars will follow the same route as room aircons, washing machines and computers, with key components, such as motor systems

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