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Bosch, GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi form JV for next-gen Li-ion battery technology; targeting a doubling of capacity
12 February 2014
Robert Bosch GmbH, GS Yuasa International Ltd., and Mitsubishi Corporation have set up a joint venture—Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG—to develop next-generation lithium-ion battery technology with a goal of doubling energy capacity. The companies had announced their intent to do so in June 2013. (Earlier post.)
For electric vehicles, higher capacity can mean greater range and/or lower cost, since the battery pack could be smaller, depending upon design targets. This next generation of technology is needed in order to make the electric vehicle a successful mass product in the next decade, the partners said. Bosch and its partners said they are confident that electromobility will become a mass market from 2020 onward.
In setting up this joint venture, we want to achieve nothing less than a giant leap forward in the development of battery technology. Our aim is to make lithium-ion batteries twice as efficient.—Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH
The joint venture Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Stuttgart, was set up in November 2013. Bosch holds a 50% stake with GS Yuasa International Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation each holding 25 percent. The composition of the board of management reflects these shareholdings. Its members are Dr. Rolf Speicher from Robert Bosch GmbH, Toshio Ohara from GS Yuasa International Ltd., and Yutaka Kashiwagi from Mitsubishi Corporation. They will initially head up a team of some 70 associates in Germany and Japan.
Bosch will support these joint activities with its entire portfolio of components for electromobility. With its competence in the area of battery packs and battery management systems, Bosch specializes in the monitoring and control of cells and complete systems, as well as in integrating them into vehicles. In addition, it will contribute its know-how in production processes and quality management relating to the large-scale series production of complex products.
In September 2012, Bosch and Samsung SDI disbanded their South Korea-based SB LiMotive JV for Li-ion batteries. (Earlier post.) Samsung SDI paid Bosch $95 million for Bosch’s 50% stake in the venture; in turn, Bosch acquired SB LiMotive’s US and German subsidiaries for $38 million, for a net payment to Bosch of $57 million. Bosch took over the subsidiary SB LiMotive Germany GmbH. Based in Stuttgart, it focuses on systems engineering, battery management systems, prototyping, marketing, and sales.
GS Yuasa will contribute its years of experience in manufacturing high energy density lithium-ion battery cells, as well as its expertise in materials systems and electrochemistry.
Mitsubishi Corporation will contribute its global sales network and experience as an integrated global business enterprise. In addition, Mitsubishi will use its strengths in the establishment of global value-added chains—which include raw materials, semi-finished products, and marketing—to take the joint venture forward.
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