Bosch Focuses On Electromobility
The manufacturer is already supplying hybrid drivetrain parts for the Porsche Cayenne, Panamera and Volkswagen Touareg, while the PSA HYbrid4 system also uses Bosch technology. It also recently formed two significant joint ventures related to its electromobility programme, and is investing in charging and servicing infrastructure for forthcoming vehicles.
Last year, it partnered with Samsung SDI to form SB LiMotive, a battery manufacturing outfit based in Korea. This has recently gained contracts to supply battery cells and control systems to the BMW i3 and 1 Series ActiveE, as well as the Fiat 500 electric vehicle.
A consortium led by Chrysler, General Motors and Ford has also given it an £5.1m ($8.4m) contract to develop the technology further, with cost reduction and range at the top of its priority list.
By 2015, Bosch has predicted it will be able to offer a battery pack capable of a 124 mile range and 12 year service life. But by 2020 it still expects electric vehicles to carry a 45% price premium compared to conventionally powered counterparts.
In Germany, the manufacturer has partnered with Daimler to build motors for the forthcoming smart fortwo electric drive as part of a joint venture announced earlier this year. Production is already under way at the EM-motive plant in Hildesheim.
But it’s not only technology the manufacturer is working to improve. Bosch Car Service centres area already getting training and diagnostic equipment to allow them to work on electric cars, and a trial is underway in Singapore to test its public charging post software. This will allow users to book spaces in advance and streamline the billing process for any energy used.
Bosch is the second manufacturer to announce a booming business in electromobility this year. GKN Driveline recently said it had over 40 projects in development for mass-market manufacturers.