With the relevant authorities having given their approval, Bosch is moving ahead with the reorganization of its lithium-ion traction battery operations following the dissolution of its joint venture with Samsung, SB LiMotive. (Earlier post.) Effective immediately, the former operating units SB LiMotive Germany GmbH in Stuttgart and Cobasys LLC based in Orion, Michigan, will be incorporated into the Bosch Group as a wholly owned subsidiary under the new name Robert Bosch Battery Systems.
As part of the further intensification of battery activities, Bosch has taken on all existing battery system projects. Bosch plans for Samsung SDI to be the cell supplier. In addition, Bosch will have the flexibility to use cells from other manufacturers. The Fiat 500e, which was recently unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will go into series production in 2013 (earlier post), is the first all-electric vehicle with a Bosch battery pack.
Currently, Bosch says it is concentrating on the battery system and in particular battery management and matching energy storage to the vehicle as a whole, which includes all aspects of mechanical and electronic integration. Daimler chose a Bosch battery management system for its Smart EV.
As part of their continued cooperation, the former joint venture partners have agreed to give each other access to the patents. On this basis, Bosch will be able to develop new generations of cells and the production methods for more efficient and economical energy storage. This development involves Bosch researchers, current engineering work on maritime applications, and Bosch process technology and manufacturing specialists, in close cooperation with selected partners.
Demand for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids is predicted to sharply increase from 2020, Bosch said, noting that it is using the time available by further expanding its activities to develop and produce more efficient lithium-ion battery systems.
Bosch said it wants to cooperate closely with specialist partners from industry and higher education to establish research and development work on high-performance battery cells in Germany and to set up a European specialist and supplier network targeting electromobility and stationary energy storage devices.
The Bosch Group spends €400 million (US$522.6 billion) per year for electromobility. Bosch currently has more than 1,100 working in this field, including the roughly 500 battery specialists in Germany, the US, and China.