Because there’s too much capacity for lithium ion batteries, Robert Bosch GmbH has decided to withdraw from its venture with Korea’s Samsung SDI to develop and manufacture lithium ion batteries last year. At a media roundtable last Friday in Tokyo, the German supplier’s Chairman Volkmar Denner said that the market for hybrid and electric vehicles is over-saturated.
He said that rather than concentrating on mass production, Bosch will focus on developing next-generation batteries. Bosch anticipates that electrified vehicles will make up just 10% of the worldwide market in 2020. Denner said that the company is glad not to be engaging in high-volume battery production since the market is expected to be rather low until 2020.
Denner said that Bosch will focus its efforts on r&d so it could make some progress with regards to the energy density and the pricing of lithium ion batteries. Bosch has partnered with Samsung SDI, via a 50-50 venture named SB LiMotive, to develop and produce batteries for electrified cars.
But last year, Bosch has sold its stake to Samsung SDI. While Bosch works on its own battery research, it will utilize cells from Samsung SDI in a Bosch battery pack that the Fiat 500e electric car will be equipped with beginning in 2014.