German auto-parts maker Bosch has reportedly started work towards launching a 48V battery systems manufacturing operation in eastern China.
The state Xinhua News Agency said construction of workshops and related facilities had already started at a site in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.
Xinhua quoted Wuxi city officials as saying the operation would be run by Bosch Automotive Systems (Wuxi)— the subsidiary Bosch set up in 2015.
“The project is expected to generate revenue of up to CNY8.7 billion ($1.4bn) annually after it starts operations in 2021,” Xinhua said. The 48-volt batteries “are expected to be widely used in both electric and fuel vehicles”.
The move follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation between Bosch and the Wuxi local government last year.
Meanwhile, Xinhua said Bosch would continue to supply powertrain systems in China “to help promote the electrification of China’s auto industry and achieve zero-emissions”.
BBB reported last month that Bosch had dropped plans to manufacture battery cells and was “disbanding” battery-related research as the result of “a lengthy economic assessment”.
However, Bosch said it would continue working with other cell suppliers for hybrid/electric vehicles and buying battery cells from them to develop its battery-management systems, 48V battery systems and in drawing up specifications for cells.