Bosch and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) have concluded a long-term strategic cooperation agreement under which the partners will jointly specify high-performance battery cells. CATL will then design, develop, and manufacture these cells in accordance with Bosch requirements.
The cells are to be used in the 48-volt battery developed by Bosch. This battery is the core element of 48-volt hybrid powertrain systems.
Bosch 48V battery pack
In joining this alliance, Bosch is also securing its long-term sourcing for battery cells.
We have to understand battery cells, but we do not have to make them ourselves. With CATL, we have brought an established cell specialist for lithium-ion batteries on board as a partner. In combination with our systems know-how and expertise in battery management, we will extend our strong position in the 48-volt battery market.—Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector
CATL is currently building a battery factory in Erfurt, Germany. For Bosch, this alliance is another step on the path to market leadership in electromobility. Numerous global automakers already use Bosch’s 48-volt battery.
Bosch’s portfolio for 48-volt systems extends beyond the 48-volt battery to encompass other system components such as DC/DC converters and electrical machines.
With this technology, Bosch aims to gear up all classes of vehicles for future emissions requirements and offer affordable hybridization. Its 48-volt electrification augments the combustion engine with an electric motor. This motor is powered by the 48-volt battery, which in turn is charged by recovering energy expended during braking. This can cut fuel consumption by as much as 15 percent.
If we want to improve efficiency, we can no longer afford to let brake energy dissipate unused. This 48-volt hybridization is sure to be the minimum standard in tomorrow’s automotive market.—Stefan Hartung
The market for 48-volt solutions is growing worldwide. Bosch expects that by 2025, nearly 20% of new cars sold annually around the globe will have a 48-volt system and matching battery on board. Demand for 48-volt systems is rising, especially in Europe and China.
The Bosch plant in Wuxi, China, started making the first generation of the 48-volt battery late last year. The USP of the latest version of this product is that the battery is compact and cooled passively. This means automakers can simply integrate it into their vehicle models, and do not require any additional cooling units. In addition, they can dispense with the long and costly effort of proprietary engineering work.
Bosch aims to take the lead in the mass e-mobility market that will emerge in 2020 and beyond. The company is planning to increase its sales in this area more than tenfold by 2025, to more than $5.5 billion. Bosch electrical powertrain components already feature in more than a million vehicles around the world.
The supplier of technology and services has carried out powertrain projects for 50 electric-vehicle platforms. It is the market leader in China, the world’s biggest and fastest-growing electric-vehicle market.