Bosch-Samsung JV for hybrid car batteries
Dubai, October 13, 2009
SB LiMotive, the Bosch and Samsung joint venture, has started construction of a 28,000 sqm plant in South Korea that will start commercial production of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid cars by 2011 and electric vehicles by 2012.
SB LiMotive also revealed that the venture is expected to create around 1,000 job opportunities over the next few years.
SB LiMotive said that it will be supplying lithium-ion battery cells to BMW, which is the first customer for the joint venture since its inception in 2008. The German automaker will install the battery cells in its first electric car, which is currently being developed as part of the 'Megacity Vehicle' project. The zero-emission vehicles will go into series production in the first half of the next decade.
Meanwhile, Bosch Automotive has also announced that in 2009 alone, it will be investing 3 billion euros into research and development to help fast-track the development of economically viable electric-powered cars.
Bosch predicts that electric cars will reach a sales volume of 500,000 worldwide by 2015, and that they will make a noticeable presence in major thoroughfares by 2020. The company revealed that it will start series production of the Bosch hybrid engine technology in early 2010.
On the other hand, Bosch expects that internal-combustion engines will remain unchallenged for the next 20 years primarily because of technological and cost challenges of producing the electric car.
“Increasing urbanisation and the growing population in major cities across the region make hybrid automobiles – and ultimately electric cars – a perfect solution to help control the rising energy consumption,” said Volker Bischoff, general manager, Bosch Middle East.
“To bring the electric car in the market quickly, production costs must be reduced by half to two-thirds. Equally important is for us to overcome the technological challenges to powertrain electrification. Bosch's hybrid technology stands at the middle ground, providing a more efficient and cost-effective solution compared with conventional internal-combustion engines, while paving the way for introducing electrically-powered cars eventually,” he added.
Bosch expects the proportion of diesel vehicles in worldwide automobile production to increase slightly from 25 to 28 per cent by 2016, particularly in Asia's emerging markets and in the US. In this regard, Bosch has revealed that it is developing a new technology that will reduce fuel consumption of engines by up to one third, while cutting down carbon dioxide emissions of diesel cars to less than 99 grams per kilometer.
Samsung SDI and Bosch set up the SB LiMotive joint venture in 2008 to develop the lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles for series production, and then to manufacture the batteries. By 2013, the joint venture partners intend to have invested some $500 million in their company.
Apart from Ulsan, the company has locations in Giheung (Korea), Stuttgart (Germany), Orion and Springboro (USA). SB LiMotive currently employs some 500 associates.-TradeArabia News Service