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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bosch say ICE to remain unchallenged till 2030

The chairman of automotive components giant Bosch says it will take more than a decade for Electric Vehicles to even “make a noticeable mark” on the world car market and the the internal combustion engine is likely to be "unchallenged in the next 20 years”.

Speaking at an automotive seminar at the company’s Boxberg research center near Stuttgart, Bosch chairman Dr Bernd Bohr says the company estimates that by 2015 electric car sales will account for just 500,000 units annually, from a car production total around 100 million units.

Improved and downsized turbo petrol and diesel engines, their efficiency boosted by as much as 50 percent over today’s designs, will remain the main motive power for cars for at least 20 years, and probably beyond, Bosch believes. They could only possibly be referring to potential fuel efficiency improvements as opposed to energy efficiency which is fairly fixed for an internal combustion engine.

However, Dr Bohyr does believes that electrically powered vehicles will eventually dominate based on simple efficiency grounds. For the oil equivalent of one kilowatt hour of power, today’s internal combustion engine delivers 1.5 to 2.5 km of range, he says, a figure that improves to about 3.2km in a diesel hybrid. Under the same conditions, an electric motor delivers about 6.5km of range.

The major hurdle for electric cars remains the weight and cost of their batteries, says Dr Bohr. Bosch is “working hard” to develop the lithium ion variety it believes has the best development potential for cars, through a recently-arranged joint venture with Samsung.

At present, says Dr Bohr, a li-ion battery that can propel a 1000 kg car for the 200-km range most buyers say they need weighs 250kg and costs around 17,000 Euros, far too much. Bohr is “very confident” that by 2015 it can cut weight by around 30 per cent and cost to by nearly half, figures it believes are approach acceptability for production cars.

Of course Bosch are pushing their own barrow here as they make both diesel and petrol direct injection systems that stand to benefit from a continuation of ICE dominance, they are not a Li-ion battery company.

Their biggest cash cow, ABS and ESP may also be under threat by the move to EVs as computer controlled independent wheel motors will make the use of electro-hydraulics to actively control vehicle dynamic safety systems obsolete.


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1 comment:

Sergius said...

Really, Dr. Bohr needs to encourage the ICE vehicles producers, while your company does not adapt to the inexorable growth of EVs.
Sounds strange, however, that the Bosch's overcoming inertia dynamics need yet thirty years to do so ...

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