Bosch venture expects to offer improved lithium ion battery by 2020

Article by Anita Panait, on December 3, 2013

Robert Bosch GmbH and GS Yuasa Corp. are targeting to sell a lithium ion battery by 2020. This battery reportedly cuts production costs by half and delivers twice the energy density of current batteries, according to Wolf-Henning Scheider, the management board director in charge of Bosch's global automotive business.

Scheider disclosed that the goal was to start to put the batteries on the market to supply what is forecasted by the German company as increasing demand for electrified vehicles. He remarked at the Tokyo Motor Show that they expect around 12 million cars electrified by 2020, compared to the forecasted 2 million EVs this year, according to LMC Automotive. Currently, the cost and limited performance of today’s lithium ion batteries are considered as obstacles to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and hybrids.

Lithium ion batteries are considered better than nickel-metal hydride ones since they are lighter and could hold more power. However, lithium ion batteries are more expensive and usually used in small city commuter EVs since they cannot store ample energy for regular long-distance travel. According to Scheider, sales targets for the venture have yet to be set, and it is too early to forecast the percentage of the projected 12 million units that Bosch will supply.

He remarked that their current aim is the development of the new lithium ion batteries. Under a partnership disclosed in June 2013, Bosch is collaborating with GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corp. to create a Stuttgart-based joint venture aimed at developing low-cost, high energy-density lithium ion batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. Bosch will have a 50-percent holding, with GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi each taking 25-percent stakes.

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