Bosch seals car battery deal with China’s CATL in hybrid drive

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany auto supplier Robert Bosch is teaming up with Chinese battery cell producer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) to develop high-performance battery cells.

CATL will design, develop and manufacture electric car battery cells to Bosch specifications as part of the Germany company’s development of 48-volt hybrid powertrain system, which is used to augment a combustion engine and charge the battery during braking, cutting fuel consumption by up to 15%.

Bosch has carried out powertrain projects for 50 electric-vehicle platforms and is the market leader in China, the world’s biggest and fastest-growing electric-vehicle market.

“In combination with our systems know-how and expertise in battery management, we will extend our strong position in the 48-volt battery market,” Stefan Hartung, a member of Bosch’s board of management and chairman of its Mobility Solutions business said.

Bosch expects that by 2025, nearly 20% of new cars sold annually around the globe will have a 48-volt system and matching battery on board.

Bosch’s plant in Wuxi, China, started making the first generation of the 48-volt battery late last year. The USP of the latest version is that the battery is compact and cooled passively. This means automakers can simply integrate it into their vehicle models, and do not require any additional cooling.

Bosch reiterated it plans to increase its sales from electric vehicle technology to five billion euros ($5.5 billion) by 2025, a tenfold increase.

Last year Bosch Chief Executive Volkmar Denner struck a skeptical tone about the possibility of producing its own electric car battery cells, saying it would need to spend 20 billion euros to enter the market.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Alexander Smith

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