Electric vehicle charging point logo painted onto tarmac road

Electric vehicle market boosted by powerful new Bosch battery

Bosch has announced a new 48-volt battery for electric vehicles, which could help encourage the faster mass adoption of vehicles in the EV automotive sector.

The 48-volt battery has been designed for use in hybrid vehicles, with the more powerful capacity helping to further cut CO2 emissions by enabling greater use of the electric aspect of the engine. This is predicted to increase fuel savings by up to 15 per cent.

Fuel consumption remains the main challenge to reducing CO2 emissions for the automotive industry. Bosch’s 48-volt battery has been designed to offer a comparatively inexpensive way of cutting this fuel consumption in hybrid vehicles through use of a boost-recuperation system (BRS). This involves storing the energy normally lost when braking and applying it when the driver accelerates. As this requires less fuel, less CO2 is produced in the vehicle’s exhaust. Along with other electrical components, this adds an extra 10 per cent to the kilowatts of power generated, reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 15 per cent.

The battery is also housed in a plastic casing rather than metal, further reducing costs for manufacturers. Bosch engineers rearranged the battery cells so that the plastic housing could withstand the pressure generated by the lithium-ion cells over the battery’s lifespan.

The battery design has also been standardised to offer easy integration into new car models, reducing the time it takes for manufacturers to bring new hybrid vehicles to market. Bosch estimates that by 2025 there will be at least 15 million 48-volt hybrid vehicles on the roads.

“There is more to a battery than making it perform faster, more powerfully and for longer,” said Michael Budde, head of Bosch Battery Systems. “It must offer a user-friendly and cost-efficient solution for customers and end users. We are confident that this innovation will position us as the market leader for 48-volt batteries and is another example of Bosch helping to make an electric future an affordable reality.”

Bosch will begin production of the new battery in 2018 and anticipates high demand, particularly from China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, where more than half a million EV models are sold each year. Bosch is already in talks with over a dozen customers.

“Bosch has long been making upfront investments in electro-mobility, with more than £350m invested every year. Now those investments are gradually starting to pay off. There are already more than 500,000 electric and hybrid cars fitted with Bosch components on the roads,” says Dr. Mathias Pillin, head of electro-mobility at Bosch.

Advancing battery technology is absolutely key to the uptake of electric vehicles and has thus become a focus for many companies. James Dyson recently announced a £2bn investment towards the company launching its own electric vehicle by 2020, while a recent poll revealed that just over half of British people (51 per cent) are open to the idea of owning a hybrid car, with 35 per cent ready to go all-electric, underlining the potential for manufacturers to make money from the electric vehicle market.

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