Why NGP Invested in Infinitum
In August 2023, NGP invested $25 million in Infinitum, the leading next-generation electric motor company delivering exceptional energy efficiency in a smaller, lighter, quieter, and more sustainable motor design. Here’s more on why we invested:
Enhancing electric motor efficiency will play a critical role in decarbonizing the global economy
Electric motors represent the world’s single largest end-use of energy, consuming over half of all global electricity to power fans, pumps, compressors, conveyor belts and electric cars. There are nearly 50 billion electric motors in operation today, and global demand for electric motors is expected to grow to $250 billion per year by 2025 due to broader electrification trends. Unfortunately, the majority of motors today waste energy because they operate at a single speed. Adoption of higher-efficiency, variable speed motors in commercial and industrial (“C&I”) applications has the potential to materially reduce energy consumption and associated emissions. For example, the broad implementation of advanced motor technology in U.S. C&I applications would reduce CO2 emissions by 90 million tons per year and save 127 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to power 12 million U.S. households.
Infinitum’s innovative “Aircore” design delivers a step-change in electric motor performance
Infinitum has developed an axial flux permanent magnet motor with two fundamental innovations. First, they’ve replaced the heavy copper-wound iron stator found in traditional motors with a lightweight printed circuit board stator. And second, they’ve incorporated a built-in variable frequency drive with silicon carbide power electronics to provide precise controls and the ability to operate the motor efficiently across a wide range of speeds. The net result: an electric motor that is 50% smaller and lighter, uses 66% less copper, is highly manufacturable and delivers industry-leading efficiency at both full and partial load. Infinitum’s motor is the only design we’ve seen with the potential to exceed the International Electrotechnical Commission’s highest standard of efficiency (IE5 class) at a competitive price point and without any major performance drawbacks (e.g., noise, weight). A more detailed description of Infinitum’s motor technology can be found here.
Product-market fit for Infinitum’s initial motor product is validated by purchase orders
Infinitum’s initial product, the Aircore EC motor, is designed for lower horsepower industrial applications – think fans, pumps and conveyor belts between 1 and 15hp, which together support $60 billion of annual motor sales globally. During our due diligence, we spoke to customers from the data center cooling, industrial pump and material handling markets, who uniformly asserted the advantages of Infinitum’s motor for their specific applications and stated their intention to purchase thousands to tens-of-thousands of Aircore EC motors per year. In fact, Infinitum already has framework purchase agreements in place with customer-provided volume forecasts that exceed our (admittedly conservative) underwritten volumes through most of 2026.
Infinitum has retired fundamental technology and manufacturing risks
The Aircore EC’s performance and reliability have been validated by dozens of customer and independent engineering tests, some of which ran for several years. And by the end of 2023, Infinitum will have produced over 20,000 motors. The company has spent much of the last two years honing its manufacturing process to drive down costs while maintaining exceptional quality controls. That work is mostly done, and the proceeds from the Series E will be used to expand manufacturing capacity (without materially changing the current manufacturing process) to meet customer demand. This is the type of “execution bet” that is well-suited for our investment strategy.
Infinitum is led by a uniquely talented, well-rounded management team
We’ve followed CEO Ben Schuler and the team at Infinitum closely for the last three years, and we’ve come to know and deeply respect management’s capabilities. From technical and product development acumen, to manufacturing and supply chain expertise, to sales and financial leadership, Infinitum has the people in place to successfully execute its ambitious plans.
We are proud to partner with Infinitum
We’re excited to support the Infinitum team as they bring a much-needed advanced motor technology to market, and we hope to meaningfully scale our investment over time.
Learn more about Infinitum Electric: https://goinfinitum.com/
NGP is a premier private equity firm that believes energy is essential to progress. Founded in 1988, NGP is moving energy forward by investing in innovation and empowering energy entrepreneurs in natural resources and energy transition. With over $20 billion of cumulative equity commitments, we back portfolio companies focused on responsibly solving and securing the energy needs of today and leading the way to a cleaner, more reliable, more affordable energy future.
For more information, visit www.ngpenergy.com.
 IEA, “Energy Efficiency Policy Opportunities for Electric Motor-Driven Systems” (2011).
 Thunder Said Energy, “Electric Motors: State of Flux?” (2021).
 10EQS, “Market Opportunity Assessment of Motor Systems ” (2021).
 U.S. DOE, “U.S. Industrial and Commercial Motor System Market Assessment Report Volume 3: Energy Saving Opportunity” (2022).