Rolls-Royce intends to divest its electrical powertrain business as it seeks to exit non-core operations.

Announcing the move during a capital markets event on 28 November, chief executive Tufan Erginbilgic said it was looking to “divest non-core businesses that are not a strategic fit for us”.

UAM Electric Motor-c-Rolls-Royce

Source: Rolls-Royce

Products under development include electric motors for urban air mobility applications

Total divestments over the next five years are expected to generate £1-1.5 billion ($1.26-1.89 billion), he says.

These include Rolls-Royce Electrical where the group is “looking at options” – either a full sale or “for the right value”, reducing its stake to a minority position with the intention of exiting the business in the mid-term.

Erginbilgic says that, given the expertise the unit has accumulated in advanced air mobility power systems, it “will represent good value to a third party”.

Electrical engineering expertise will be retained across Rolls-Royce’s civil, defence and power systems businesses, however.

If completed, the divestment will mark a sharp change in direction for the company, which had previously championed electrical power as core future aerospace technology.

Rolls-Royce Electrical was created as a standalone business unit in 2022 and had been built up following the 2019 acquisition of Siemens’ eAircraft operation as the company sought to gain a foothold in a new segment.

Products under development include turbogenerators and electric propulsion units, with Rolls-Royce Electrical to supply the powertrain for Vertical Aerospace’s VX4 urban air mobility vehicle.