A strategic opportunity to strengthen Forsee Power’s position on the rail market
Smart batteries are essential to rail greening projects and adapt to all given applications and environments: catenary-free trams, 100% battery trains, hybrid trains (diesel and batteries), hydrogen trains (fuel cell and batteries). They limit emissions, considerably reduce infrastructure costs, while preserving the natural landscape.
Forsee Power is already present on the rail market with its very complete range of high-power and / or high-energy batteries. The group is supporting the French manufacturer ALSTOM in the hybridization of the TER passenger train and SOCOFER, a manufacturer of maintenance locomotives.
The Group is well acquainted with the Holiwatt team as the two companies have been working together several years. This takeover will allow Forsee Power to strengthen its skills in the rail sector.
“Decarbonizing rail transport will play a key role in achieving climate ambitions such as Fit-for-55 announced last week by the European Commission. Forsee Power has identified the rail transport sector as a strategic development area. This acquisition will therefore enable the Group to accelerate the roll out of our plan by offering an integrated range of highly innovative battery and charging systems to our customers in the railway sector” explains Christophe Gurtner, Chairman and CEO of Forsee Power.
Unique expertise in the field of railway energy storage and charging systems
Holiwatt has been supplying power management products and systems to the rail market (tramways, trains) for more than 20 years and has a fleet of more than 3,000 on-board and trackside equipment in operation. The Company started working in France for the SNCF Group and the Lyon metro in 2001, supplying power converters and auxiliary converters (CVS). In 2012, Holiwatt launched its first braking energy recovery system, and, from 2015, has been equipping the tramways in Nice, France and in the city of Kaohsiung, on the island of Taiwan, with its batteries and wayside rapid charging systems allowing the trams to operate catenary-free. The Company counts among its clients major transport references in Europe and in Asia. Holiwatt has 21 patents and offers a very wide product range of energy storage systems for catenary-free rail transport, on-board and trackside fast charging systems, energy recovery systems and power converters and Auxiliary Converters (CVS).
A team of 37 experts to join the Forsee Power workforce
Holiwatt’s takeover provides Forsee Power with advanced technologies and the skills of 37 people in the areas of systems engineering, electronics, software, power, mechanics, thermal and modeling.
“I am delighted with this takeover by Forsee Power, which allows us to maintain and develop in France a know-how of more than 20 years. Joining Forsee Power is a great opportunity for Holiwatt’s teams to join an international and multi-market leader” said Olivier Pequet, former President of Holiwatt, who will now head the rail hub of Forsee Power.
By merging the new team with its existing specialized workforce, the Group will be able to form a rail hub based on the R&D center and the Holiwatt test laboratory established in Ecully, France and which will remain in the Rhône Alpes Auvergne region, the R&D center located at the headquarters of Forsee Power in Paris and the test laboratory and production site of Forsee Power located in Chasseneuil-du-Poitou in France
The energy conversion and trackside fast charging systems will also be deployed in the marine and commercial vehicle markets where Forsee Power is present.