Robert Bosch GmbH and the Japanese companies GS Yuasa International Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation have agreed to work together on the next generation of high-performance lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are fundamental for future forms of mobility, such as plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicles.
The three companies intend to set up a joint venture for joint research and development, and to support their parent companies in sales and marketing activities. Operations are planned to start in the beginning of 2014. The headquarters will be Stuttgart/Germany. The establishment of the joint venture is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.
Bosch intends to hold a 50% stake in the joint venture, with GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corporation each holding 25%. The composition of the board of management and supervisory board will reflect these shareholdings.
The companies aim to use advanced cell management and progress in electrochemistry and materials to significantly increase energy content. This will reduce weight and space requirements, and increase the range of electric vehicles.
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. At the same time, US-based Cobasys will be integrated into Bosch. This subsidiary, which is important for the US market, has locations in Orion (MI) and Springboro (OH).
For the new joint venture, Bosch says it will contribute its know-how in production processes and quality management relating to the large-scale series production of complex products. With its competence in the area of battery packs and battery management systems, Bosch specializes in the monitoring and control of cells and complete battery systems, as well as in integrating them into vehicles. In addition, Bosch will support these joint activities with its entire portfolio of components for electromobility.
GS Yuasa will contribute its many years of experience in manufacturing lithium-ion cells with high energy density for a longer range, as well as its expertise in materials systems and electrochemistry. As an established manufacturer of automotive and non-automotive lithium-ion battery cells, GS Yuasa has a strong engineering team and modern production lines with a high level of automation.
Mitsubishi Corporation will contribute its worldwide marketing network and expertise as a global integrated business enterprise. Mitsubishi Corporation will apply its strengths in building global value chains, covering natural resources, material, sales and take advantage of their synergy to advance this business.