German technology group Bosch is to work with China battery-making giant Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) on developing cells for Bosch’s 48V battery systems.
Bosch said the collaboration would see CATL design, develop and manufacture the cells “in accordance with Bosch requirements”.
The announcement follows the launch of Bosch’s first-generation 48V battery-making plant in Wuxi, China, late last year.
The chairman of Bosch’s Mobility Solutions business and member of the group’s management board, Dr Stefan Hartung, said: “We have to understand battery cells, but we do not have to make them ourselves. With CATL, we have brought an established cell specialist for lithium-ion batteries on board as a partner.”
Bosch 48V systems “extend beyond the battery to encompass other system components such as DC/DC converters and electrical machines”. The group said 48V electrification augments the combustion engine with an electric motor.
The motor is powered by the 48V battery, which in turn is charged by regenerative breaking, which can cut fuel consumption by as much as 15%, claims the company.
Hartung said: “If we want to improve efficiency, we can no longer afford to let brake energy dissipate unused. This 48V hybridisation is sure to be the minimum standard in tomorrow’s automotive market.”
Bosch expects that, by 2025, nearly 20% of new cars sold annually around the world will have a 48V system and matching battery on board.
Earlier this year, CATL confirmed it was joining other Asian battery makers as a supplier to Japanese car firm Toyota as it ramps up production of electric vehicles.
Meanwhile CATL is investing a total of up to €1.8 billion (US$2.1bn) into its planned electric vehicle battery plant in Germany.