Bosch presents 'ground-breaking' battery technology

Bosch has debuted potentially ground-breaking new electric vehicle (EV) battery technology at the Frankfurt Motor Show that could be production ready within five years.

The German technology giant has said that it wants to double batteries' energy density and halve their cost by the end of this decade, and the new solid-state cells that were shown at Frankfurt put the company on course to make that happen.

Bosch recently bought Californian start-up firm Seeo Inc, which has developed solid-state cells for lithium batteries. With the newly acquired expertise and patents, combined with the huge financial and technological resources Bosch has to hand, these batteries could by powering EVs before 2020.

The new solid-state cells would double the range of an existing EV and be available at a lower cost to manufacturers. These batteries would be suited to both pure EV and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), dramatically increasing range for less money.

It is the technology developed for the solid-state cells that is the key to increased energy storage - and thus range. Current lithium-ion batteries use anodes largely made out of graphite, which limits energy capacity. Bosch can manufacture the anodes out of pure lithium in the solid-state cells, which dramatically improves efficiency. As Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of Bosch, said in Frankfurt: "The pure lithium anode represents a huge innovative leap in battery cell construction." There is an improvement is safety too as, because there is no ionic liquid used in the cells, the batteries are not flammable.

Bosch is currently working on 30 orders related to electrical powertrains and invests nearly 400 million euros annually in electromobility, with developing battery a significant part of that brief.

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:18th Sep 2015

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