Mobility Solutions

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  • February 26, 2015
  • Press kit
  • Mobility Solutions
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Electromobility at Bosch Facts about battery technology for hybrid and electric powertrains How range is increasing, why a battery has more than one lifetime, and how automated driving could change battery technology

Long service life, top quality, the highest degree of safety – we expect an enormous amount from high-voltage batteries in vehicles. That’s why today’s lithium-ion batteries, for example, have to be designed to run for at least 150,000 kilometers and to last up to 15 years. Even then, after spending all this time in the car, the battery still has to possess 80 percent of its original storage capacity and performance. “Developing a high-voltage vehicle battery that is costefficient, powerful, and reliable at the same time – this is the proverbial rocket science,” says Dr. Joachim Fetzer, the member of the executive management of the Gasoline Systems division of Robert Bosch GmbH responsible for electromobility. Within the next five years, Bosch intends to offer high-voltage batteries that are twice as powerful. At the same time, the company is exploring new battery technologies.

Development: the path to the next generation of lithium-ion batteries
Lithium-ion technology: In the years to come, lithium-ion technology still has plenty of potential to offer. Today’s batteries have an energy density of approximately 115 W h/kg, but have the potential to go as high as 280 W h/kg. To research the next generation of lithium-ion batteries, Bosch has joined forces with GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corporation in a joint venture called Lithium Energy and Power. “The goal of this joint venture is to make lithium-ion batteries up to two times more powerful,” Fetzer says. In pursuit of this goal, the partners have pooled their strengths. GS Yuasa can apply its experience in cell optimization to creating a battery with a higher energy density and increased range. Bosch contributes its expertise in complex battery management and systems integration.

Post-lithium-ion batteries: Bosch’s corporate research department is working on post-lithium-ion batteries, such as those made using lithium-sulfur technology, which promises greater energy density and capacity. Bosch estimates that the earliest the lithium-sulfur battery will be ready for series production is the middle of the next decade.

Progress: battery management results in 10 percent more range
Cell chemistry: There are several ways to improve battery performance. For example, the material used for the anode and cathode plays a major role in the cell chemistry. Most of today’s cathodes consist of nickel-cobalt manganese (NCM) and nickel-carboxyanhydrides (NCA), whereas anodes are made of graphite, soft or hard carbon, or silicon carbon.

Cell voltage: High-voltage electrolytes can further boost battery performance, raising the voltage within the cell from 4.5 to 5 volts. The technical challenge lies in guaranteeing safety and longevity while improving performance.

Battery management: In terms of high-performance batteries, Bosch is focusing on driving forward the monitoring and management of the various cells as well as the overall system. The challenge is managing a high-voltage battery reliably, since up to ten microcontrollers regulate energy flow in the cells by means of a CAN bus system. Sophisticated battery management can further increase the range of a car by up to 10 percent – without altering the cell chemistry.

Infrastructure: automated vehicles have an effect on battery technology
Rapid-recharging charge spots: If there are lots of places where you can quickly charge your electric vehicle, then this will have a major impact on battery technology. The faster an electric vehicle’s battery can recharge, the less important its range becomes.

Automated driving: Fully automated vehicles make charging much more straightforward, since they can search for charge spots without any assistance from the driver. How this works is demonstrated by V-Charge, a project spearheaded by Bosch, VW, and a number of European universities. The idea is that within a parking garage, for instance, the driver would be able to use a smartphone app to direct their electric vehicle to a charge spot. When the driver comes back, the car returns to the pick-up spot by itself. Other variations on this theme are also possible; for example, a driver could request a vehicle from a car-sharing fleet by cell phone and have it come right away to a designated spot. Fleets are in fact another area where demands on the battery – such as those regarding its service life – are changing, since fleet vehicles are often in service for fewer than the 15 years estimated for vehicle batteries.

Three lifetimes: for a high-voltage battery, the car is just the first step
Different stages in the life of a battery: A fleet vehicle, which drives many kilometers in a short space of time, requires a new battery with full performance and capacity. In contrast, a slightly used battery can work just as well in cars that are driven only occasionally for short routes. That would reduce the overall cost of an electric car. Even after twelve years – the average service life of a car – the battery still retains 80 percent of its original performance and capacity. This means its components can still be useful, for example as a power storage unit.

“Second Life” project with BMW and Vattenfall: In Hamburg, used batteries from electric vehicles are being joined together to form a large power storage system. It can provide energy within seconds and helps stabilize the grid. With this project, Bosch, the BMW Group, and Vattenfall are working together to drive electromobility and energy storage forward.

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  • February 26, 2015
  • Press releases
  • Mobility Solutions
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Learning from old parts Exchange parts give Bosch clues for product development Active field observation at Bosch

  • Bosch replaces functional car parts for testing purposes
  • Findings aid product development
  • Car owners receive new spare part free of charge
  • Several automakers are also using the Bosch process
Bosch is taking a new approach to product development. “Ideally, there is a perfect fit between our products and what is actual required in the car,” says Klaus Sekot, the project manager in charge. “The products should function for the car’s entire life, withstanding all the stress and strain that occurs in real driving conditions.” To come closer to this aim, Bosch launched the “active field observation at Bosch” initiative in early 2013. For analytical purposes, developers are able to request used car parts that are still functional. Their findings are a supplement to existing knowledge and to automakers’ specifications. In this way, the product can be improved so that it best meets the actual requirements.

What is unusual about the initiative is that Bosch is not asking for faulty car parts replaced during the warranty period, but instead for parts that are still functional and, in some cases, much older. The reason is that it is only after many years of use that specialists are able to identify certain problems. Environmental conditions and driving behavior impact the wear and tear of car parts, for example. Bosch associates from different product areas are able to choose which markets, vehicles, and engines the used components should be sourced from. The most popular selection criteria are the vehicles’ age, mileage, and country of origin. “These used car parts are important for us. For example, they help us meet ever stricter warranty requirements,” Sekot says. And the car owners involved also have a reason to smile: they receive a new spare part free of charge.

Proprietary Bosch software
Software developed by Bosch manages the sourcing process from order placement to delivery. The person placing the order specifies the desired components and vehicles and selects a region using an interactive map of the world. The software sends the information to the local workshops participating in the scheme and automatically checks whether a suitable vehicle is listed in the customer base. If the customer agrees, the workshop can then exchange the part in question and send the old part to the person who placed the order. The software also organizes the shipment from the workshop to the developer, who receives relevant information about the vehicle electronically in advance. These details include mileage, number of starts, current fault memory entries, and how the vehicle is equipped.

Success of the active field observation initiative at Bosch
Bosch associates from different operating units have been taking advantage of this program since early 2013. In the first year, they received a total of 550 parts for analysis. From the analysis of these used car parts, Bosch was able to draw important conclusions for the development of new product generations. Several automakers also see the merits of pursuing a policy of active field observation and are using the Bosch process for their own purposes. Automobile workshops are not only able to replace Bosch components; they can also procure any other car part. The software is therefore beneficial for every automaker and automotive supplier to use.
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  • February 25, 2015
  • Press releases
  • Mobility Solutions
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Key technology for the connected world Five billion Bosch MEMS sensors Manufacturing milestone in Reutlingen

  • MEMS sensors have been used in automobiles for 20 years, and in consumer electronics for 10 years
  • MEMS sensors are the sensory organs of modern technical systems
  • Small, robust, intelligent, and energy-efficient
  • Bosch is a pioneer and the global leader in the manufacture of MEMS technology
Small parts, big impact: they save lives, increase driving comfort, help conserve energy, and are an essential part of consumer electronics. “MEMS sensors are a key technology for the connected world,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “They deliver high performance, but are also small, robust, and extremely cost-effective to manufacture in large volumes.” Bosch recently produced the five-billionth MEMS sensor at its plant in Reutlingen, Germany. MEMS is an acronym for microelectromechanical system. Bosch developed the underlying semiconductor manufacturing process itself, and has been manufacturing the sensors in large-scale production since 1995. “For 20 years, we have been developing smart technology for a growing number of different areas with real-life applications,” Hoheisel says. The first versions were used in motor vehicles to detect pressure and acceleration. Now, 75 percent of all sensors are used in consumer electronics. “Every second smartphone uses Bosch sensors,” Hoheisel says. The company is the leading global manufacturer of MEMS sensors.

Bosch – The pioneer of MEMS technology
The start of large scale production at Bosch in 1995 laid the foundation for modern technology. The current portfolio comprises acceleration, yaw-rate, mass flow, pressure, and environmental sensors, in addition to microphones. While it took 13 years to manufacture the first billion MEMS sensors, the Bosch Automotive Electronics division now manufactures the same quantity in less than one year at its production facility in Reutlingen, near Stuttgart. This is the result of skyrocketing demand. More than four million sensors are currently manufactured every day. These little helpers have an average thickness of between just one and four millimeters. If the five billion Bosch sensors were stacked on top of each other, the tower would be 12,000 kilometers tall; that is long enough to pass nearly all the way through the Earth, which has a diameter of 12,742 kilometers.

Game consoles, cars, and smartphones – all need MEMS sensors
There are a wide range of uses for MEMS sensors. The SMI700 sensor, for example, records a vehicle’s rotational movements, lateral acceleration, and lean angle. It is at the heart of the ESP anti-skid system, which keeps the car more safely on course during critical situations. Another sensor, the SMP480, ensures quieter engine operation and also optimizes the engine’s air-fuel mixture in changing environments. This reduces fuel consumption, and provides for cleaner exhaust fumes.

In 2005, Bosch established the wholly-owned subsidiary Bosch Sensortec GmbH, which offers a wide range of MEMS sensors and solutions for applications in the consumer electronics sector, including smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Inertial measurement units (IMU) such as the BMI160 in the remote controls of game consoles are responsible for gaming fun, for example. They transmit the movements of the player in real time with extreme precision. The acceleration sensors in smartphones ensure that the display changes orientation when the cellphone is turned. At the beginning of 2015, Bosch Sensortec unveiled another global first: the BME680. In one housing, this environmental sensor measures air pressure, moisture levels, ambient temperature, and, for the first time, air quality.

MEMS sensors make non-electronic objects smart
The next major technological revolution has already begun. In an increasingly connected world, things are learning how to communicate. MEMS sensors are an important technological component that is key to this process. Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH, established in 2013, develops and markets connected, sensor-based devices, and custom solutions for the internet of things. Programmed to be a smart technology and fitted with a microcontroller, miniature battery, and a tiny radio chip, MEMS sensors can process their readings and send them over the internet to a user’s smartphone, for example.

Tiny, intelligent, robust, and energy-efficient
It is essential for sensors to be as small as possible, especially for smartphones, tablets, and similar devices. The reason for this is that such devices are called on to perform ever more functions – but have to do this in ever less available space. In consumer electronics, MEMS sensors are less than one millimeter thick. Some of the components inside sensors are a mere four micrometers (µm) thick – that is 17 times thinner than a human hair. These tiny parts are nonetheless robust and very powerful. They also have to be extremely energy-efficient. An acceleration sensor for the alarm system in a motor vehicle, for instance, has to be ready for use at all times, yet draw as little power as possible from the car battery. And in consumer electronics, low energy consumption is just as important, since it helps a smartphone’s battery last as long as possible.

For more information online:
Bosch sensors for automotive applications
Bosch sensors for non-automotive applications
Sensors – how technology maps the world around it
MEMS: the stars of the sensor world
Greater safety with peripheral sensors

Bosch press releases:
Sensors for increased safety in vehicles: New generation of Bosch inertial sensors
Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions: Bosch sets up company for
   internet of things and services

Internet-enabled MEMS sensors
New Inertial Measurement Unit BMI16: Bosch Sensortec launches first IMU
   with the lowest consumption worldwide

Bosch Sensortec launches combo MEMS solution with integrated gas sensor

Videos:
Bosch MEMS enabling the Internet of Things and Services
Gyroscope for ESP: how it works
Pressure sensor: how it works
Acceleration sensor: how it works
MEMS sensor manufacturing
Inertial Measurement Unit BMI160
Integrated Environmental Unit BME680
Bosch CES 2015: First environment sensor to measure four variables
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  • February 18, 2015
  • Press releases
  • Mobility Solutions
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