Bosch has teamed up with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) on a long-term strategic cooperation agreement for 48V hybrid electric vehicles.
The two will specify high-performance battery cells which CATL will then design, develop, and manufacture. The cells are to be used in a passively-cooled 48V battery pack developed by Bosch which will be the core element of 48V hybrid powertrain systems. Bosch expects that by 2025, nearly 20 percent of new cars sold annually around the globe will have a 48V system and matching battery on board.
“We have to understand battery cells, but we do not have to make them ourselves,” said Dr Stefan Hartung, member of the board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. “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.”
CATL is currently building a battery factory in Erfurt, Germany, and a Bosch plant in Wuxi, China, started making the first generation of the 48V hybrid battery late last year.
Bosch’s 48V systems extend beyond the battery to other system components such as bidirectional DC-DC converters for capturing energy from the car braking to recharge the battery. "If we want to improve efficiency, we can no longer afford to let brake energy dissipate unused,” said Hartung. “This 48V hybridization is sure to be the minimum standard in tomorrow’s automotive market. We are confident that our 48V battery will achieve a leading position in the market, and make the 48-volt hybrid affordable for the mass market,” added Hartung.
Bosch says it aims to take the lead in the mass e-mobility market that will emerge in 2020, with ambitious plans to increase its sales in this area more than tenfold by 2025, to five billion euros. It has already carried out powertrain projects for 50 electric-vehicle platforms, with a focus on the CHinese market.