New 48V hy­brid bat­tery from Bosch


Bosch’s new 48V bat­tery for hy­brids is in de­mand by au­tomak­ers across the globe. Sim­i­lar to the Bosch e-axle, this in­no­va­tive 48V bat­tery is stan­dard­ised for easy in­te­gra­tion into new ve­hi­cle mod­els, so es­tab­lished man­u­fac­tur­ers and start-ups alike can thus elim­i­nate long and ex­pen­sive de­vel­op­ment pro­cesses.

“Bosch is an in­cu­ba­tor of elec­tro­mo­bil­ity. We help man­u­fac­tur­ers re­duce their de­vel­op­ment times and launch their prod­ucts faster,” says Dr. Rolf Bu­lan­der, chair­man of the Bosch Mobility So­lu­tions busi­ness sec­tor, and mem­ber of the board of man­age­ment of Robert Bosch GmbH.

This means that in­stal­la­tion of the lithium- ion bat­tery will ben­e­fit not only com­pact cars, but mini- and mi­cro­cars as well. Pro­duc­tion of the bat­tery is sched­uled to start late this year. An­tic­i­pat­ing a large mar­ket for en­try- level hy­brids, Bosch of­fers other pow­er­train com­po­nents for these mod­els in ad­di­tion to the 48V bat­tery. The com­pany es­ti­mates that some 15 mil­lion 48V hy­brid ve­hi­cles will be on the road by 2025.

The art of the bat­tery

Au­tomak­ers ev­ery­where – whether in China, Europe, or North Amer­ica – are all striv­ing to cut CO2 emis­sions, which in prac­tice means re­duc­ing cars’ fuel con­sump­tion. Bosch has sys­tem­at­i­cally de­signed its new 48V bat­tery to do pre­cisely that. For in­stance, the lithium-ion cells Bosch uses are as com­pact as pos­si­ble while still achiev­ing a re­duc­tion in CO2. The 48V bat­tery is in high de­mand, par­tic­u­larly among Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers, and the lithium- ion unit is poised to be­come a global suc­cess. Bosch is al­ready in talks with more than a dozen cus­tomers, and has se­cured a con­sid­er­able num­ber of pro­duc­tion projects.

The se­cret of the bat­tery’s suc­cess is its so­phis­ti­cated con­cept, which of­fers a com­par­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive way to help re­duce ve­hi­cle CO2 emis­sions. This is also due to the prod­uct de­sign, as the bat­tery re­quires no ac­tive cool­ing, and its hous­ing is made of plas­tic, not metal. Both these fac­tors bring costs down still fur­ther. The plas­tic hous­ing presents a real chal­lenge, as lithium-ion cells ex­pand when the bat­tery is charg­ing and over the course of the unit’s ser­vice life. As a re­sult, the hous­ing must with­stand a cer­tain amount of stress. Bosch engi­neers re­ar­ranged the cells in the 48V bat­tery so that even plas­tic hous­ing can bear the pres­sure.

“We at Bosch have long been mak­ing up­front in­vest­ments in elec­tro­mo­bil­ity. Now those in­vest­ments are grad­u­ally start­ing to pay off,” says

Dr. Mathias Pillin, head of elec­tro­mo­bil­ity at Bosch.

On the world’s roads, there are al­ready more than 500,000 elec­tric and hy­brid cars fit­ted with Bosch com­po­nents. The com­pany in­vests 400 mil­lion eu­ros a year in elec­tro­mo­bil­ity. Bosch has years of ex­pe­ri­ence from more than 30 pro­duc­tion projects, in­clud­ing in the man­u­fac­ture of bat­ter­ies, and that ex­per­tise is now bear­ing fruit.

As Michael Budde, head of Bosch Bat­tery Sys­tems, puts it : “We are demon­strat­ing that there is more to a bat­tery than mak­ing it per­form faster, stronger, far­ther; in­stead, there is an art to find­ing a suit­able user-friendly so­lu­tion.”

With i ts new bat­tery, Bosch is play­ing a key role in mak­ing the 48V hy­brid af­ford­able for the mass mar­ket. This would make i t pos­si­ble for the pow­er­train to quickly be­come a hy­brid for ev­ery­body – and not only in China: as the mass mar­ket for hy­brids ex­pands, Bosch ex­pects i ts bat­tery to find suc­cess in Japan and Europe as well. “We are con­fi­dent that this will po­si­tion us as a mar­ket leader for 48V bat­ter­ies,” Budde says.

How does 48V save fuel?

A 48V hy­brid can con­sid­er­ably cut its fuel con­sump­tion through the use of a boost re­cu­per­a­tion sys­tem ( BRS). Here’s how it works: a con­ven­tional car loses en­ergy when­ever the driver brakes. The BRS stores this brak­ing en­ergy in a 48V bat­tery and ap­plies it later when the driver ac­cel­er­ates ( elec­tronic boost). This re­quires less fuel – and pro­duces less CO2 in the ex­haust.

With more than half a mil­lion mod­els sold, China is by far the world’s largest mar­ket for elec­tric ve­hi­cles. It is a world leader in e-ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion, too. Elec­tric ve­hi­cles and hy­brids are set to take over still more of the Chi­nese mar­ket, es­pe­cially with gov­ern­ment sup­port.

No other coun­try in the world emits as much CO2 into the at­mos­phere as China. It has set it­self a fleet tar­get of 117 g/ km by 2021, and China’s au­tomak­ers are look­ing to the 48V hy­brid sys­tem to help them achieve this goal.

Bosch’s new and less ex­pen­sive 48V bat­tery will make the sys­tem more af­ford­able for a broader mar­ket, and will thus help Chi­nese au­tomak­ers con­sid­er­ably re­duce CO2 emis­sions.

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