Rolls-Royce electric deal

Bondholder Rolls-Royce has completed the acquisition of the electric and hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion activities of Siemens (formerly known as the eAircraft business), following a period of employee consultation.

The timely execution of the deal, announced in June this year, underlines the fit of these activities to Rolls-Royce's strategy to ‘champion electrification’ and will help accelerate its ambitions to play a major role in the ‘third era’ of aviation.

Rob Watson, Director – Rolls-Royce Electrical, said: “We are very pleased with the rapid execution of the necessary legal and procedural steps to complete this acquisition. We are welcoming our new colleagues into Rolls-Royce today and look forward to working with them to pioneer new technologies and solutions.

“We are at the dawn of the ‘third era’ of aviation, which will bring a new class of quieter and cleaner air transport to the skies, and our new colleagues will add vital skills, expertise and new technology to our portfolio.”

The former Siemens business, based in Germany and Hungary, employs around 180 specialist electrical designers and engineers who have been developing a range of all-electric and hybrid electric propulsion solutions for the aerospace industry. They will continue to work in their existing locations.

Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce Chief Technology Officer, added: “The technology portfolio and skills that we have acquired complement our existing developments in electrification, which include micro-grids and hybrid electric trains as well as aerospace applications.

“Electrification is just one of the ways in which we are making aviation more sustainable. We are continuing to increase the fuel efficiency of our gas turbines; increasing the integration between airframe and engine; and encouraging the development of sustainable fuels.”

The closing of the deal is the latest in a series of electrification announcements from Rolls-Royce. At the end of August, it launched a joint research programme on zero-emissions aviation with Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia. The programme is part of the airline´s ambition to replace and electrify its legacy regional fleet by 2030.

Earlier the same month, Rolls-Royce signed a letter of intent for the construction of a demonstration plant for the production of synthetic fuels in the Lausitz region of Germany, together with the State of Brandenburg, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus and other industrial partners.