Bosch will debut a battery technology for electric cars that could be production-ready in as little as five years. In addition to its own development in the area of battery technology, Bosch now has crucial know-how in innovative solid-state cells for lithium batteries as well as exclusive patents, thanks to the acquisition of the US start-up Seeo Inc.
“Bosch is using its knowledge and considerable financial resources to achieve a breakthrough for electromobility,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Solid-state cells could be a breakthrough technology. Disruptive start-up technology is meeting the broad systems knowledge and financial resources of a multinational company.”
With the new solid-state cells, Bosch sees the potential to more than double energy density by 2020, and at the same time reduce costs. Bosch says that a comparable electric car that has a driving range of 150km would be able to travel more than 300km without recharging using its solid-state cells.
By 2025, the company forecasts that roughly 15% of all new cars built worldwide to have at least a hybrid powertrain. In Europe, more than a third of all new cars will be electrically powered – the majority as plug-in hybrids. In 2014 Bosch joined GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corporation in establishing the joint venture Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG, whose objective is to develop a more powerful generation of lithium-ion batteries. Seeo Inc.’s technology complements the work done so far with Bosch’s Japanese partners.
In current lithium-ion batteries, one of the reasons energy capacity is limited is because the anode consists to a large degree of graphite. Using solid-state technology, Bosch says it can manufacture the anode out of pure lithium, which increases storage capacity. In addition, the new cells function without ionic liquid, which means they are not flammable. Acquiring Seeo has provided Bosch with the first sample cells which have the potential to meet the safety and durability standards of the automotive industry.