Robert Bosch plans to leverage its dominant market position in combustion engine technology to become the leading supplier of zero-emissions solutions for electric vehicle manufacturers. The world's largest supplier has earmarked investments in electromobility of about 400 million euros a year. It may also compete with Asian heavyweights Panasonic, LG Chem and Samsung by industrializing the assembly of battery cells.
"We are the No. 1 in the market for combustion engine systems and we aim for this spot as a supplier for electromobility," Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner told reporters in Stuttgart last month. Although Bosch estimates that about 85 million cars built in 2025 will still run solely on fossil fuels, it believes nearly 20 million will be either hybrids or electric vehicles by that year.
To tap into that future demand, Bosch's automotive arm plans to form a separate business unit for electromobility within its newly created Powertrain Solutions division. Bosch aims to have 88,000 employees developing propulsion technology starting next year. By then, Denner hopes to decide whether to invest in the mass production of battery cells, a risky undertaking especially if a company bets on the wrong chemistry.