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Bosch CEO: 15% of new cars by 2025 to be at least a hybrid; batteries to deliver 2x energy density for 1/2 current cost by 2020

Speaking at the 15th CAR Symposium in Bochum, Germany, Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, said that that Bosch expects roughly 15% of all new cars built worldwide to have at least a hybrid powertrain by 2025. Denner, whose responsibilities on the board of management include research and advanced development, believes that by 2020 batteries will deliver twice as much energy density for half the present cost.

The EU has set strict fleet CO2 targets for 2021. For this reason alone, Bosch expects hybrid powertrains to become the standard for SUVs. This will give diesel and gasoline engines an extra boost.

Electrification will take combustion engines to new heights.

—Volkmar Denner

Denner used the example of China to show how important it is in a mass market for electric cars to be suitable for everyday use. There are already more than 120 million electric scooters on China’s roads. In China, Bosch sells an electric wheel hub drive for such e-scooters. With a top speed of 40 km/h, this popular form of transport is fast enough for the traffic conditions in megacities.

Further, their range of roughly 50 kilometers (31 miles) is sufficient for everyday journeys. The electric two-wheelers are such a success because they are a perfect match for Chinese commuters’ needs, Denner said. Many models are less expensive than two-wheelers with combustion engines. According to Denner, the task now is to make such tailor-made solutions possible for cars as well.

The importance of connectivity. The main factor helping to make electromobility convenient will be connecting vehicles with the internet of things.

Electric cars are good but connected electric cars are better.

—Volkmar Denner

Charging, for example, will become much more convenient. Bosch Software Innovations, the Bosch Group’s software and systems unit, has developed an app that makes it significantly easier to reserve the charge spots of different providers and pay for the electricity. Up to now, doing this would have required a different customer card for each provider. Now all drivers need is a smartphone, the app, and a PayPal account to recharge anywhere in Germany.

Bosch also complements this with a software platform that links 80% of all charge spots in Germany. As this example shows, Bosch no longer sees itself solely as a supplier of automotive components. The company is now combining its expertise in all three mobility domains—automation, electrification, and connectivity—and will in the future be offering its customers integrated mobility solutions.


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Sounds good "that by 2020 batteries will deliver twice as much energy density for half the present cost". Unfortunately, the yardstick Bosch uses is the batteries that currently are used by the old automakers. In other words, it essentially says that the old automakers by 2020 believe they can match the current cost and energy density of Tesla's battery packs. Off cause, Tesla is not resting on its laurels and will trump the old automakers again in 2020 when that 50Gwh factory is beginning to boot in earnest.


So he is predicting a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf doubles its range from 100 miles to 200 in only 5 years. That would be a huge game changer, more so if accompanied by lower cost of the vehicle.


Worldwide 15% HEVs would be impressive, and almost all of those in the US or EU will probably be PHEVs.

Henrick, where did you gather that information?


Latest (2014) EV battery packs:

1. Cost about $250/kWh of capacity.

Half that cost or $125/kWh by 2020 is very possible and could be as low as $100/kWh.

2. Had an average energy density 160 kWh/Kg

Twice the above would be an average of about 320 kWh/Kg and could be surpassed by another 50% by 2020.

Both forecast may be 50% too low.


I don't expect the transition from an ICE dominated market to a hybrid/electric dominated market will be linear. Once the market penetration for hybrids reaches 15% it will mean they have met or exceeded performance and cost expectations a good proportion of mainstream buyers and then within a few years, aided by concerns with global warming and consumers interest in new technology the market share will quickly go to 75 or 80%. At some point in time buying an ICE will be equivalent to buying a brand new electric typewriter in 1990.


I learn more from the comments than from the "experts" here on GCC.
Gotta tell ya' I was expecting more out of Nissan on their battery improvements over the last five years...they really have offered very little for the Leaf in increased range. Their choice to not run with the ball has allowed even GM to catch up. They have announce a 200 mile range EV for next year...methinks that will be very optimistic and I believe it will be more like an honest 125-150 miles.

Nick Lyons

@Lad: 125-150 miles is a lot more practical than 70-80.


If they can hit 150 miles...and a car that's not so damn ugly...then I'm in. And I have ZERO need for more than 150 mile range.


It would make sense to believe the current battery development progress - using the tools that allow internal real time observation to quickly identify choke points and observe failure modes esp dendrite formation along with the suite of inventions around anodes and cathodes, separators, chemistry and many other new ways of applying these 'insights' to manufacturing will certainly turbo charge battery development and manufacture.

My guess is that we will see 'unheard of' quality products within the next 5 years that meet if not exceed our current understanding.

It will be fantastic if the battery factory and supply chains are ready to go. The mega factory concept should be able to shine a light on how this can be achieved.

Of course there will be many adjustments to be made over the next few decades which means the effects will seem to happen very quickly.The implication there is that industry needs to be thinking ahead and preparing if they plan to be in it for the 'long term'.


I designed and converted an old Sears Garden tractor to electric using 48 volts worth of lead acid; the batteries were 85 amp batteries; worked great at first; but, the outcome of fast, ever increasing poor performance, was an experiment that quickly pointed out the need for cheap Li cells. To be a viable device in my eyes it should have Li batteries rated at about 200 amps. Pricing out this option, about $4,000, led me to buying a second ICE lawn tractor to actually do the jobs timely. Some day, when the batteries are there, I'll resurrect the converted tractor and retire the ICE; but, not anytime soon I fear.

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At second thought I think that Denner is exclusively talking about batteries used for hybrids like the Prius. He is not talking about batteries for PHEVs or BEVs. More specifically he is talking about the lithium based batteries that are used by every old automaker apart from Toyota that still predominantly uses a non lithium chemistry. Toyota still has a cost advantage because they mass produce their batteries the others do not. So it boils down to that the currently used lithium batteries for hybrids will get cheaper and smaller.

Google a little and you will find that Tesla get about 180wh/kg at the pack level and Nissan get about 90wh/kg. Price estimates is harder to confirm as no one is interested in revealing exact number but there are indications suggesting Tesla at the pack level is at 250 USD per kwh and Nissan is at 400 USD per kwh. You need to add gross margins on top of these costs to get the battery prices that matters for car buyers.

In a year or two Nissan will switch to a chemistry similar to the one used by Tesla Lithium cobalt etc and thereby double the energy density of their battery packs. However, for all I know Nissan will stick with large format prismatic cells unlike Tesla that will continue to use small 18650 cells that are easier to control for thermal runaway than larger cells. My guess is that the Leaf will come with an option for a 42 kwh battery pack and 150 miles range and at perhaps a little higher price than the current 30k USD. When that happen the 24kwh model will have to drop in price or not be sold any more. We will see. Nissan and Tesla is the only one having or building capacity to make hundreds of thousands of BEVs. Everyone else may come out by a 200 mile BEV by 2020 but they will not have any capacity to build much of them and will not decide to add capacity until Tesla and Nissan proves there is a mass market for long-range BEVs.


How do you know that Bosch was specifically talking about "Old Automakers"? That is my main concern...

Again, almost everything from everyone here or on the internet is speculation. Retail/wholesale costs cannot be taken as actual costs and so on. Unless some people have some very privy insider information its all pretty much speculation.

I heard the other day that Nissan's Leaf packs were around $230kwh Retail for the whole assembly. Or $5499 for the unit. Some estimate Nissan's cost at $270 a kwh.

I am very sure that Bosch has a good understanding of cell and module costs to make what ever claim they see fit.

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Because 99.9% of Bosch's business is with old automakers. To be sure Tesla is the only new automaker in town. The rest is many decades old apart perhaps from a few smaller ones in China that do not export. Don't google for speculation priorities your sources with block sources being nearly worthless and CEO statements and official corporate info being the most reliable because they speak under liability. Shareholders can sue them if they mislead the public.


It takes about 7 years for a specific battery technology to go from initially discovered to commercially available. That means that the technology is already known, and is simply in the process of being optimized and qualified by customers.

I have mixed numbers on what the cost is at the moment, I have heard DOE say we are at about $300-325/kWhr and others say about $500/kWhr. Anyway, it would mean a range of $150-250/kWhr. A Volt battery would cost 2,400 to $4000. The leaf battery $3,600 to $6,000.

This analysis doesn't include the possibility of a major breakthrough. For instance S-Si lithium ion cells could lower the cost number considerably since sulfur and Si are so cheap. These batteries in the pipeline that they claim will cut cost in half undoubtedly include the standard metal oxide cathodes. In fact the cells are likely MO cathodes and Si-C anodes.

Let me ask if anyone knows whether these predictions agree with other so called experts like Menaham Anderman, who is typically very negative on the future of batteries. Also, could some of the cost reductions actually be due to the fact that the batteries themselves are not as dangerous as folks like Sandia National lab and GM and other car companies say? In other words, they don't seem to be blowing up like people said they would, in fact they seem safer than a tank of gas and thus if they are safer, is there less need to fear the litigation issues that likely influenced the car companies (who are some of the weakest and most fearful people on the planet) regarding their comfort with mass roll outs, which by the way still haven't happened.


"Charging, for example, will become much more convenient." Henrik, you don't charge hybrid batteries that are simply there to replace NiMH batteries.


Again, Henrick don't tell me to Google things if the information you supply is in question. I asked why you you think that way, don't attack me.

I didn't think a major tier 1 supplier who has a hand in almost every car built, except for the 30K cars built by Tesla (because they allegedly use a lower tier supplier), would be off by so much, or be so clueless about their industry. I am actually blown away that Tesla does not use Bosch in the construction of the car. If you are a car guy, and I assume you are, it probably is very impressive(on the verge of hard to believe) to you that they don't use Bosch(or any other tier 1 supplier) in any of the components of the vehicles.

The Nissan Leaf battery pack price I gave came from a press release, yes the cell level cost is speculation, but it does retail for $5,500.

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The 5500 USD for a Nissan battery was made available after Nissan began to get negative publicity from Leaf owners who were unhappy experiencing their batteries degrading. It does not retail. It is an offer only to Nissan Leaf owners and only if they return their old battery for no money. That old battery pack is still worth a lot in secondary use if it has say 70% of its capacity left. You need to add that value and also consider that Nissan might have subsidized the 5500 USD price in order to avoid further bad publicity.

A better way IMO to gauge the price of Nissans battery is to see that the Leaf go for 30,000 USD but it is basically a 20k USD gasser. The Leaf's drive train excluding the battery is 2000 USD less than the drivetrain of a gasser that includes a much more complicated and expensive engine, transmission and exhaust purification system. That means that the Leaf battery is roughly 12k USD everything included (gross margin as well) or 500 USD per kwh. This is my bet. I do not attack you. You give me no reason to do so. However, I am not the diplomatic type and state my opinions quite bluntly.


Henrik: That's probably about right at the moment, $500/kWhr. But without expressing whether you think $150 or $250/kWhr can be achieved, you seem to imply that no progress will be made. $500/kWhr is half the price in 2009. So, great progress has been made and will continue to be made. Indeed, DOE says batteries are at $300-325/kWhr which is likely based on an average with Tesla and LG doing much better at getting lower cost. The question for you is at what cost of batteries do you think EVs wipe out ICEs. I say $150/kWhr, which may come in 2020 apparently. Also, Nissan may subsidize a few early problem vehicles with problem customers, but they set a price they think they can profit at when the bulk of packs will require replacement which should be in about 2018-2019 that they will start seeing higher numbers of failed packs.

Side note. If I have a Nissan leaf with a failing pack can I keep it and just continue to use it for local runs. The bulk of my weekend trips to the grocery store and hardware and building supply are within a few miles of me. So 70% of 84 miles still gets me a lot of places. I am just saying, it seems like the requirement to replace a pack is a little arbitrary and might not happen all the time.

It's all about the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). If over the 12 year life of the car, you drive 15,000 miles, and pay an average of $3.50 per gallon (over the next 12 years, that could be quite optimistic, its likely to be much higher) you will save $18,000. That's assuming that you pay the national average of $0.12 per kWh (if you have solar or have access to a cheap utility, you can pay substantially less - perhaps as low as $0.04 for super-off-peak overnight charging).

With $10k total subsidies in California that is a totally free car for about 9 of the available EVs. If you can't make use of a $7.500 Federal income tax credit, an EV lease usually applies the credit as a "cap cost reduction" you get the whole credit up front.

Whoa! Do the math! A free car!

From the non-subsidized manufacturer's POV discussed above, it's still a $10,000 advantage even if you assume a $9,000 60kWh battery ($150kWh). (So you're on parity at ~ $300kWh)

The only thing left to puzzle out is how to front-load the incentives - oh wait, they already did that!


If you are thinking, yeah, but I don't keep my cars for 12 years, fine. It still works out. You can lease for $149 - $349/month (BMW at the high end) or, like you usually do, pay extra for the shiny new toy depreciation - but somebody else is going to get that fuel cost savings after you part with the car . Could be a child, parent, friend, co-worker, or just another bum on the freeway who would otherwise be fouling up your air.

In any case, you'll still save $1,500 every year in fuel costs that you drive electric.

Tell a friend.

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It is clearly an interesting question about what it takes to wipe out gassers. I think Tesla has already found a market where it can be done today with today's tech and prices and that is the market for vehicles costing over 80k USD. In order to wipe gassers out at lower price levels we need not just lower cost batteries but also better batteries with higher cycle life. Therefore, I do not think $ per kwh is the most relevant metric to use because you also need to take into account cycle durability and electricity cost. For example, state of the art fuel economy gassers like the Prius can do 50 miles per gallon and a gallon cost 3 USD long-term. This is only 0.06 USD per mile driven for the Prius. The Leaf at 500 USD per kwh, about 1200 deep cycles and a cost of electricity at 10 cents per kwh and usage of 0.3 kwh per mile covered has a total cost per mile driven of 0.155 USD = 0.3*$0.10 + $500/1200*0.3.

If you can only change the kwh price the Leaf battery we would need 100 USD per kwh (including gross profit) to beat the Prius. 0.055 USD = 0.3*$0.10 + $100/1200*0.3.

I think going to 100 USD per kwh (including gross profit ) is at least 20 years into the future but it can be done. A faster way to expand BEVs is to make autonomous taxi's that essentially solve the range anxiety problem because you can change the car to get a full battery and drive on for as long as you need to. In this way we can use battery chemistries that excel in cycle life such as lithium titanium chemistries that are already good for 10,000 deep cycles. They have poor energy density to no more than 24 kwh per car and therefore the need for autonomous taxis. These titanium batteries also cost more per kwh but only because they are not at all in mass production. The cost per miles is now 0.045 USD = 0.3*$0.10 + $500/10.000*0.3! This is very competitive.

I think we can be ready with autonomous taxi's with very long service life (1,000,000 miles = 100 miles times 10,000 cycles) in about 10 years from now that can transport ordinary people at significantly lower cost than they could using their own car. It will take another 10 to 20 years to produce hundreds of millions of them in order to wipe out the last gassers.

Henrik, you've suggested that a BEV driver pays for the depletion of an EV battery as a cost per mile, but that a Amprius driver does not, either of battery or ICE engine. You've also failed to account for the not inconsiderable additional maintenance of an ICE.

I know a lot of Prius owners who have had to replace their batteries. Some are ready for engine overhauls. I don't know of a single BEV owner who has had to replace their battery.

You've also failed to include the significant "second life" value of an EV battery.

Finally, Nissan prices their battery at $270kWh at retail, not $500, The BEV wins by a large margin, before zero emission incentives, which are $12,000 in Georgia and $10,000 in California.

Long life batteries, like the SCiB, are on the market today.

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The Leaf battery does not retail for 5500 see my comments above and I know the titanate batteries are available today or I would not have mentioned them. Problem is that autonomous driving is not available today and this is exactly what is needed to make that chemistry shine in the auto industry. Otherwise points well taken. Let's see if they matter. In addition to my above given assumptions assume the Prius has a 160000 miles serve life and the battery costs 1000 USD. After all Toyota makes 1.2 million of them per year.

New cost to drive one mile in Prius 0.06625 USD = $3/50miles + $1000/160000.

Also include a scrap bonus of 1000 USD paid by Nissan for old Leaf batteries. You cannot sell to others and I doubt Nissan will pay more. Assuming 85 miles per deep cycle gives a service life of 102,000 miles.

New cost to drive one mile in Leaf 0.145196 USD = 0.3*$0.10 + $500/1200*0.3 - 1000/102,000

So they don't really matter. IMO better to leave it out to simplify the computations.

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Just to make it crystal clear I have amortized the battery cost of the prius and the Leaf so let's make the implied price adjustment to the up front buying price of the Pris and the Leaf.

Adjusted price of Prius 23000 USD = 24k -1k (battery)

Adjusted price of Leaf 17000 USD = 29k -12k (battery)

So this way the Leaf is more affordable than the Prius but it also costs a lot more to drive.

I don't know where you pulled the $1,000 number for a replacement Prius battery from, but Toyota charges $3,649 with a $1,350 core credit for their 1.3kWh NiMH traction battery.

Nissan certainly does have a consumer retail price for their battery. That doesn't mean they sell it to any Joe off the street, but it does put a verifiable market price you can expect to pay if you don't trust that your Leaf battery will carry the car to the end of its useful life. The cost is $6,499 less a $1,000 core credit; $5,500 plus a few hours of shop labor.

I believe based on current driver experience that both Prius and Leaf drivers will get considerably more mileage than you've estimated. There are exceptions for first generation Leaf drivers in the desert.

If batter life is a real worry, lease. At a lease cost of $199 or less (nine EVs are available under $200/mo) it is still a totally free car for anyone whose gas bill is $200/mo or more.

Your calculations still didn't reflect eventual ICE overhaul, tune ups, belts or oil changes.

Prius has service intervals of 5,000 miles. Oil changes at 5k or 10k (mineral or synthetic). Even at 10k, that's still $1,440 just for oil changes over 180,000 miles. Frankly that's probably what a 24kWh Leaf battery will cost in 12 years.

These numbers are best left out only if a customer doesn't have to pay them.

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