Sapa teams with NREL
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Sapa Extrusions will work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on technology for hybrid-electric vehicle systems.
Sapa Extrusions' Portland-based North American Technical Center will work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on hybrid-electric vehicle systems.
The partnership will bring together the Department of Energy's NREL with Sapa's growing expertise in aluminum technology for thermal management for hybrid electric vehicles. The expertise was born in Sapa's European operations and has spread to North America.
Sapa's 14-member technical group, the bulk of which resides in the company's Portland operation, will provide design and manufacturing guidance to the NREL's lab-born ideas.
"We're excited about it," said Peter Hedman, Sapa's North American Technical Center manager. "They have significant lab expertise."
Hedman said that Sapa works with a number of large companies on the development of parts and battery technology for hybrid electric vehicles including major players in the U.S. and Japan in addition to Brammo Inc., the Ashland-based electric motorcycle company.
Part of the Swedish company Sapa Group, Sapa Extrusions put its first North American foothold in Portland and employs several hundred people here.
Lightweight aluminum is a popular material choice for renewable energy and electric vehicle companies alike. Sapa also develops racking equipment for the solar industry.
Sapa is also known for its work in the aluminum bike frame business, though company officials said earlier this year that it would exit that business, making room for a new bike frame manufacturer, Zen Bicycle Manufacturing.
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