Volvo Penta acquires marine battery manufacturer ZEM

Volvo Penta is now the majority shareholder of Norwegian marine battery and electric drive solutions provider ZEM.

Volvo Penta has announced the acquisition of ZEM, a Norwegian company with 12 years of market experience as a supplier of both marine battery systems and complete electric drivetrains.

“As part of the Volvo Group’s electromobility initiatives, Volvo Penta has a strong technology base to build on. Marine electromobility, however, has a unique set of requirements,” explains Peter Granqvist, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Penta. “There are very specific considerations that are of the utmost importance regarding the installation environment, safety, as well as the use case itself plus the current lack of charging infrastructure.”

“The ambition of this fantastic acquisition is to take another step forward in our electromobility development, thanks to the expertise and specialised marine offering that ZEM has today,” added Granqvist.

The experience of ZEM’s core team in the field of electromobility dates back to 1993. In 2009, ZEM was founded as a consultancy company for the marine and offshore industry to design battery and hybrid solutions. To date, the company has provided battery solutions for many different applications, ranging from ferries, offshore supply vessels and high-speed passenger ships to lifeboats and the booming aquaculture sector. Among its pioneering solutions are the battery systems to the 2016 SMM Ship of the Year “Vision of the Fjords”, but also the world’s fastest battery-powered catamaran “Ryger Elektra” and the first electric free-fall lifeboats “Viking Norsafe”.

Volvo Penta, moving towards even greater environmental sustainability

In order to advance the Volvo Group’s sustainability agenda, Volvo Penta recently announced that it is redirecting additional resources to accelerate its product development. The ambition is to achieve zero emissions through fossil fuel-free and renewable, electric and hybrid technology, while continuing to provide efficient solutions to the marine industry.

“Volvo Penta’s vision is to become a leader in sustainable energy solutions, where we are driving the transformation on land and at sea towards a more sustainable society,” explains Heléne Mellquist, President of Volvo Penta. “With this acquisition, we are now able to offer powertrain solutions for marine customers through ZEM and also contribute to the broader marine electromobility footprint through battery supply. It is a step forward in our transformation and will also allow us to seize new opportunities.”

ZEM will remain operational under its current brand and under the leadership of Egil Mollestad, ZEM’s long-time CEO and a recognised pioneer in the marine industry. The collaboration between Volvo Penta and ZEM is set to grow gradually.

(Volvo Penta acquires marine battery manufacturer ZEM AS – – June 2021)