The Race for EVs
|Christoph Hammerschmidt||March 9th 2017|
In anticipation of the electromobility breakthrough, automotive supplier Robert Bosch GmbH has announced to reorganize its powertrain activities. Expecting production of almost 20 million hybrid and electric cars in 2025, Bosch has launched a business unit dedicated to electromobility – and to combine it along with existing combustion engine activities in the new Powertrain Solutions business field which will be launched 2018.
The idea is offering all technologies related to any type of powertrain through one central entity. To prevent the impression of disruption, the company assures that it will continue to further develop conventional powertrain technology, because even in 2025, internal combustion engines will be mainstream; Bosch expects combined production of diesel and gasoline engines in the area of 85 million units.“Since from today’s perspective, it is an open question which type of propulsion technology will prevail, we will take a two-pronged approach, investing in expanding our expertise in both electric and combustion-based powertrains,” explained Rolf Bulander, top executive of Bosch’s Mobility Solutions business unit and general manager of Robert Bosch GmbH.
The company plans to invest “several billions of euros annually” into powertrain-related R&D activities. For the development of electromobility solutions the company will invest €400 million per year, with the primary focus on battery developments. The company claims to be the only automotive tier one supplier with research activities in both current as well as future cell technologies. The company employs 1800 engineers and technicians in electromobility-related R&D activities.
Bosch identified three strategic market segments for the new Powertrain Solutions unit: passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles with both conventional and hybrid powertrain and electric vehicles. The company sees the highest growth potential in electromobility and commercial vehicles; in the field of passenger cars with conventional combustion engine, Bosch will focus on improving their efficiency.
Powertrain Solutions will employ some 88,000 workers at more than 60 locations in 25 countries. Despite shifting the focus from combustion powertrain systems to electric ones, the total number of employees will remain “almost at the same level”, Bosch said in a press release. Which means that about the same number of jobs to be created in the electromobility business will be cut in the area of the old technologies.