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Monday, August 3, 2009

Bosch Samsung JV to supply battery for BMW's city e-car

A joint venture between Bosch and Samsung will supply lithium-ion battery cells for BMW's city car project, an electric vehicle due in the first half of the next decade.

"The decision is a major milestone along the way to serial production of the Megacity Vehicle. The battery is a key component in any electric vehicle - it determines the range and performance of the car," BMW Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said in a statement on Monday.

"With SB LiMotive we have selected a supplier who offers the best available technology, combining leading German automotive expertise with future-oriented Korean battery know-how."

The Megacity car is an offshoot from BMW's 'Project i', which was tasked to develop new mobility concepts for cities with more than 10 million inhabitants.

SB LiMotive, which recently acquired General Motors [GM.UL] hybrid battery supplier Cobasys, is a 50-50 joint venture between Bosch, the world's largest car parts maker, and a South Korean lithium-ion battery supplier that specialises in consumer electronics applications.

Integration of lithium-ion battery cells in a car requires higher standards in terms of durability, operational stability and safety, which is where Bosch's century-long experience in the auto industry comes into play.

"Our foremost objective is to supply BMW with the best battery technology available in terms of performance, range, and safety. At the same time, we want to establish SB LiMotive lithium-ion battery cells as a sustainable product which, after being used in the car, can be reused in other areas or recycled," Samsung SDI CEO Soon Taek Kim said in the statement.

BMW last week announced it would pull out of the Formula One circuit at the end of this season, after management decided to focus its efforts on sustainability issues and reducing carbon emissions.

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