Robert Bosch GmbH will build a pilot production line in Eisenach, Germany to research materials and production processes for future lithium-ion batteries. The pilot line will produce the first samples for trial purposes from 2012. Ultimately, an annual production volume of more than 200,000 cells is planned by 2015 for the marine industry. Bosch already has a joint venture with Samsung SDI, SB LiMotive for making automotive lithium-ion batteries.
Bosch will be helped in this project by chemical giant and by ThyssenKrupp System Engineering for process plant engineering. Bosch said this will help develop a European supplier network for materials and production machinery for lithium-ion batteries.
Currently, lithium-ion battery technology is dominated by Asian firms, in China, Japan and Korea. U.S. and European automakers are scrambling to increase their expertise in hybrid and electric vehicle technologies because of increasingly stringent government regulations that favor hybrid and electric vehicles.
Bosch said will gradually increase the size of the project team to roughly 80 associates. They will work to develop materials for anodes, cathodes, and electrolytes, and also examine their chemical interactions. The knowledge they gain will be used in new manufacturing processes.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 285,000 associates generated sales of €47.3 billion in 2010. The company which is 125 year old this year, made its name producing magnetos and spark plugs for early automobile ignition systems.