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UK: Sevcon in prime position for surge in electric vehicles

Matt Boyle, president and chief executive officer of Sevcon Inc., shows off electric vehicles at the company’s sales and engineering office in Southboro. (T&G Staff/CHRISTINE PETERSON)

By Priyanka Dayal TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

We’re in the process of very rapidly electrifying vehicles. Consumers will have a lot of choice in terms of models and configurations and price point.

— Brian Wynne, PRESIDENT, ELECTRIC DRIVE TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION

SOUTHBORO — Well before Toyota launched the Prius and Chevy unveiled the Volt, there was a market for electric vehicles.

They have been used for decades at mines, in warehouses and on airport tarmacs. And for all those years, Sevcon Inc. has been making parts for the vehicles.

Sevcon’s headquarters is in Gateshead, in northern England, but it has facilities around the globe and is traded publicly in the United States. At a sales and engineering office at 155 Northboro Road in Southboro, 13 people test products and process about 40 percent of the company’s sales.

Sevcon, which has about 115 employees worldwide, makes parts for electric and hybrid vehicles — primarily the controllers. A controller connects a vehicle’s battery to its electric motor.

Though technology has changed over the years, Sevcon’s primary business has not, said President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Boyle in an interview during a recent trip to Southboro. Since the 1960s, Sevcon has supplied parts to manufacturers of forklifts and aerial lifts, which are used worldwide in warehouses, office buildings and shopping malls.
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