- Dr. Volkmar Denner: “We aim for giant leap forward in the development of battery technology.”
- Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG joint venture starts operations in 2014
- Doubling of energy density is basis of the 2020 mass market
Robert Bosch GmbH and the Japanese companies GS Yuasa International Ltd., based in Kyoto, and Mitsubishi Corporation, based in Tokyo, have set up a joint venture. Known as Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG, the new company will be headquartered in Stuttgart. It will develop next-generation lithium-ion battery technology. This next generation is needed in order to make the electric vehicle a successful mass product in the next decade. “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,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, who, as chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, is responsible for research and development.
For electric vehicles, more efficient batteries will mean greater range. For consumers, the car will also be more affordable, since the rechargeable batteries can be smaller. Robert Bosch GmbH and its partners are confident that electromobility will become a mass market from 2020 onward. Electromobility is an important step toward making mobility climate-friendly and sustainable.
The joint venture Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG was set up in November 2013. Bosch holds a 50 percent 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.
Battery-pack know-how meets battery-cell competence
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.
GS Yuasa will contribute its many years of experience in manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells whose high density makes 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 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.
Automotive Technology is the largest Bosch Group business sector. According to preliminary figures, its 2013 sales came to 30.7 billion euros, or 66 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers (note: due to a change in the legal rules governing consolidation, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Automotive Technology largely operates in the following areas: injection technology for internal-combustion engines, alternative powertrain concepts, efficient and networked powertrain peripherals, systems for active and passive driving safety, assistance and comfort functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as car-to-car and Car2X communication, and concepts, technology, and service for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch has been responsible for important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP® anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.4 billion euros in 2013 (Note: due to a change in the legal rules governing consolidation, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, Bosch applied for some 5,000 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”