Ficosa has inaugurated its ‘e-Mobility Hub’ in Barcelona. The centre specialises in electromobility systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. Located in Viladecavalls (Barcelona), the company has invested more than EUR10m in this new 1,200sqm facility, employing more than 120 engineers, 60 of which are new hires.
Ficosa says the e-Mobility Hub will become a global benchmark laboratory in the development of electric mobility technology, driving Ficosa’s leadership in an area that is key for the mobility of the future. The company adds that it also plays a strategic role, as it will become a driving force in electromobility solutions for the whole group on an international level.
The new e-Mobility Hub welcomed Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Reyes Maroto; General Secretary of Industry and Small and Medium Business of the Spanish Government, Raul Diaz; General Secretary for Business and Knowledge Marta Felip; CEO of Accio, Joan Romero; and Mayor of Viladecavalls, Cesca Berenguer, that were accompanied by Ficosa chairman, Jose Pujol, and Javier Pujol, CEO of the company, among other Ficosa’s executives.
After the visit, Minister Reyes Maroto, speaking with the Ficosa president and CEO, highlighted: “We’re working with the sector, with the whole value chain, on defining a strategic framework that will allow us to develop important leveraging opportunities and you are the ones with the middle- to long-term vision. We have to accompany this transformation in the industry, which is already here and we have just seen at Ficosa. There is no doubt anymore that there will be a disruptive shift in the industry that we must be part of”.
In the words of Ficosa CEO, Javier Pujol: “The e-Mobility Hub is a huge milestone for Ficosa, as it puts us on the leading edge of the revolution that electric mobility is bringing about in the sector with a cutting-edge centre at a global level. Likewise, this facility joins the hubs in Connectivity and Safety that Ficosa has in Viladecavalls, consolidating its leadership in key technologies for the transformation of the automobile underway and culminating the technological transformation process in Viladecavalls.”
The e-Mobility Hub has latest generation premises with four new laboratories certified by ASPICE, the ISO-Automotive Spice regulations to develop mechatronic systems. At this centre, Ficosa develops and manufactures software and hardware solutions for hybrid and electric vehicles, specifically battery-management systems (BMS) and on-board chargers (OBC). The battery-management system is a device that gives users the required safety and allows them to monitor the battery charge level at all times, as well as its health. On the other hand, the on-board charger is assembled inside the vehicle and charges the battery using an electric cable, directly from a standard alternating current (AC) power socket.
Javier Pujol highlights that in 2019 the company “expects to reinforce the team at the e-Mobility Hub with 100 more engineers, as well as adding 750sqm and another laboratory” in order to satisfy the multinational corporation’s needs as a result of its growth in the field of electromobility.
Consolidation of the commitment to technology
The new e-Mobility Hub joins the other hubs in Connectivity and Safety that Ficosa has in Viladecavalls, which work for the company globally. This way, Ficosa says it is reinforcing its leadership in strategic products for more aided driving, driverless vehicles, connected cars and e-mobility, which have become pillars of the group’s growth.
Pujol stresses: “The Viladecavalls centre has positioned itself as one of the most cutting-edge in the world in vision, e-mobility, connectivity and safety technology, and is, without a doubt, the driving force for the whole technological transformation Ficosa has undergone in recent years thanks to the significant efforts we have put into the industrial reconversion of the Viladecavalls Technology Centre, as well as innovation, technology and strengthening the engineering team.”
In this regard, Ficosa has significantly expanded the engineering team working on these new technology products, with a record-breaking 1,170 engineers worldwide. Of these, more than 700 work at the Viladecavalls Technology Centre, the group’s most important engineering centre, which last year alone hired 160 new engineers.
The strong commitment to capitalising on innovations and the latest advances in the sector has led the company to boost the resources it puts into R&D, which was roughly 8% of sales in 2017.
In terms of the important investment plan the company is rolling out, in 2017 it invested more than EUR90m, 50% of which went to new technology. The company expects to put more than EUR500m towards new products business between 2019 and 2023.