Leoni, a global provider of energy and data management solutions in the automotive sector and other industries, is broadening its commitment to electromobility. With this new expansion work, the company’s Wire & Cable Solutions Division (WCS) will be enlarging its facility in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico by 7000 square metres with the option for a further 3000 square metres. The purpose is to increase capacity to produce mostly EV charging cables and Hivocar high-voltage cables for vehicles with alternative drive. Numerous guests, including State Governor Javier Corral Jurado, Innovation and Economic Development Secretary Alejandra De la Vega and Carlos Tena, major of Cuauhtémoc, attended the foundation-laying ceremony on 14 August.
As in many other countries, electromobility is on the up in North America; all the major carmakers have announced plans to further increase their product offering. The market share of electric cars in the United States is expected to exceed 15 percent in 2025.
Leoni therefore intends to be prepared with greater capacity for the growing and changing market demands. With production in proximity to the customer, the Company can locally and flexibly supply products for electromobility made to the desired specifications. Contact with the principals is made significantly easier and the supply chain is shortened. Production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2020; initial samples are to make as early as the end of December.
Leoni provides a comprehensive product portfolio for electric cars and plug-in hybrids, including AC and DC charging cables for various charging modes as well as other solutions for fast charging. The cables are made for both of the voltage levels possible in the United States: 300V AC, EVJE cables (mostly for home charging akin to charging modes 1 and 2 in Europe) and 600V/1.000V DC, EVE cables (fast charging, comparable with European charging modes 3 and 4).
The production plan for Mexico initially provides for Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 charging products (cross sections of 35 to 95 mm2) with UL and VDE approvals.
Leoni developed its Hivocar high-voltage cables for wiring the numerous components and the power train of electric vehicles: They stably and reliably carry the current to the HV battery, via the inverter onward to the electric motor as well as to such ancillary components as A/C compressors and electric heating.
Hivocar cables are available in single and multi-core variants, also as twisted pair models, with various conductor and insulation materials as well as shielded and unshielded – depending on the intended application and customer requirement. Initially, our facility in Mexico is to make cables for temperatures ranging to 105°C (T2) and 125°C (T3) as well as later to 150°C (T4) and irradiation crosslinked cables for up to 180°C (T5).
Great potential at the new location
With this expansion, our facility in Cuauhtémoc will comprise 28,792 m² of production space / total area and initially employ 100 additional staff in newly created jobs in addition to the present 790 employees. Leoni is investing more than 25 million US dollars in the plant’s expansion during the project phase.
“We look forward to extending our product range. We have continually expanded our facility ever since it was established in 1998. Beyond single-core cables, multi-core Adascar cables and Dacar data cables, we can now also demonstrate our potency with high-voltage and charging cables,” said Everardo Avila, Managing Director of Leoni WCS Mexico.
During the foundation-laying ceremony, Bill Livengood, President of Leoni WCS North America, praised the good collaboration with the State of Chihuahua and the City of Cuauhtémoc: “Today is a celebration of partnership. Partnership between Leoni Cable and Cuauhtémoc, the State of Chihuahua and our employees.”