Bosch CEO predicts cheaper batteries, networked traffic

March 20, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Within the decade ahead, the price level for traction batteries will decline by 75 percent, predicted Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner at the technology congress of the German Automotive Industry Association (VDA). At the same time, electronic systems will contribute to significantly improve the energy efficiency of vehicles.

In his keynote speech at the VDA congress on March 19, Denner held out the prospect of doubling the energy density of Li-ion batteries by 2020. During the same period, the price level could well decline by 50 percent, Denner said. In the long term, the Bosch rainmaker expects further battery capacity improvements to about 300 to 400 Watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). The material of choice for these improvements will be bi-energy NCM, a chemistry basically known today.

"Electromobility must be driven through its fascination", Denner said, showing a Bosch video of newcomers who for the first time drove an electric vehicle and exhibited strong signs of enthusiasm thereafter. Nevertheless, the reality is different: For the time being, electric powertrains are becoming indispensible because the European Community stipulates ever-tighter carbon dioxide emission limits. "To reach these specifications, the automotive industry will need more plug-in hybrids, in particular for heavy cars sile SUVs", Denner said.

The Bosch CEO also highlighted the significance of networked cars to improve the efficiency of conventional, and even more so, the electric vehicle. "The best electric car is the connected one", he said. "Networking is the key to CO2 reduction". Denner referred to technologies like the "electron horizon" that makes the car and its driver aware of the topology and the traffic. For example, a PHV using the electronic horizon would be able to climb up an extended slope purely on electric power (and thus without local emissions) if it is aware that within the range of its batteries it would encounter a downhill stretch that would allow to recharge the batteries. "The electronic horizon sees farther than any driver", he said. Also measures to keep the traffic flowing would contribute to better fuel energy, he said, citing vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies to enter series maturity within the years to come.

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