Bosch is debuting a new battery technology for electric cars that could be production-ready in as little as five years. According to Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, “Bosch is using its knowledge and considerable financial resources to achieve a breakthrough for electromobility,”
In order to make this goal a reality, Bosch has acquired the Silicon Valley startup Seeo Inc. for their innovative lithium battery solid state cells and exclusive patents.
“Solid-state cells could be a breakthrough technology,” Denner said. “Disruptive start-up technology is meeting the broad systems knowledge and financial resources of a multinational company.”
Up to now, the declared industry target has been to double batteries’ energy density and halve their costs by the end of this decade. With the new solid-state cells, Bosch sees the potential to more than double energy density by 2020, and at the same time reduce the costs considerably further. A comparable electric car that has a driving range today of 150 kilometers would be able to travel more than 300 kilometers without recharging – and at a lower cost. Bosch believes Seeo Inc. will fit seamlessly into their electromobility strategy.
“The pure lithium anode represents a huge innovative leap in battery cell construction”
Bosch believes that by 2025, 15 percent of all new cars built worldwide will have at least a hybrid powertrain and that more than a third will be completely electrically powered which is driving their research and development activity in energy storage for vehicles.
Since the battery of an electric vehicle consists of numerous interconnected cells, improving these cells is an important building block to a better battery. For example, in cell chemistry, the material that the positive and negative poles (cathode and anode) are made of plays a major role. In current lithium-ion batteries, one of the reasons energy capacity is limited is because the anode consists primarily of graphite. By using solid-state technology, Bosch would be able to manufacture the anode out of pure lithium, which would considerably increase the storage capacity. An added bonus is that since the new cells function without ionic liquid, they would not be flammable – this is currently a huge problem with lithium-ion batteries. “The pure lithium anode represents a huge innovative leap in battery cell construction,” Denner said.
As a result of the acquisition of Seeo Inc., Bosch now possesses the first sample cells which have the potential to meet the high standards of the automotive industry where durability and safety are concerned.
Tracey is an accountant and entrepreneur with a passion for nature. This passion is what spurred her interest in renewable energy, and the rest is history as they say. Tracey is a principal in Energy Think Group, the publisher of Solar Thermal Magazine and Tek-Think. She is also the principal at Women's Financial Help Desk. She spends her free time in the outdoors with her horses and dogs. She loves to travel.