Press release #Automotive Aftermarket

Two centennials at Bosch: 100 years of glow plugs and 100 years of batteries

Pioneering Bosch developments from the infancy of the automobile

  • Wholesalers and workshops can turn to Bosch for a comprehensive portfolio of glow plugs for nearly any diesel vehicle – including older models
  • Powerful Bosch starter batteries are nowadays available for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, motorized two-wheelers and recreational vehicles
Carolin Lüdecke

Carolin Lüdecke >


Karlsruhe, Germany – For Bosch, this year marks not just one, but two anniversaries of products that have a long and successful history. Robert Bosch was quick to realize that diesel engines’ excellent efficiency made them well suitable for use in motor vehicles. The problem was that these engines had great difficulty with cold starts. The Bosch glow plug, which went into production in 1922, provided the solution by moving the pre-warming of the engine to the inside of the combustion chamber. It was also one hundred years ago that Bosch started producing starter batteries in the Stuttgart suburb of Feuerbach – initially for motorcycles and then, from 1927, for passenger cars.

Decades of expertise and continuous improvement

For 100 years now, glow plugs and starter batteries have belonged to those products that Bosch continuously improves and – generally in collaboration with automakers – modifies. Bosch’s first single-pole glow plug still featured a mica insulator with an open wire filament. Today, Duraterm technology and ceramic heating technology with short pre-heating and long post-heating phases ensure fuel efficiency and a long service life. With the Bosch DuraSpeed glow plug, featuring a ceramic heating element, a cold start now takes less than two seconds. Giving the diesel engine time to warm up is now definitely a thing of the past. In addition, modern glow plugs play a role in cleaning the particle filter. The heat from the plugs helps with particulate filter regeneration. Diesel particle filters collect any soot contained in the exhaust. To prevent the filter clogging up, the soot that has been collected has to be periodically burned.

Broad portfolio of starter batteries for vehicles of all kinds

When it comes to starter batteries as well, Bosch has 100 years of experience and expertise, as these historical milestones show: In the 1960s, Bosch marketed batteries with plastic housing and a charge indicator. Maintenance free batteries for passenger cars followed in the 1980s. Starting in the 1990s, silver-alloy grids in Bosch starter batteries ensured a long service life and high starting power. Since 2000, the Bosch portfolio has been supplemented by high-performance AGM starter batteries for modern passenger cars featuring start-stop systems and many electrical consumers. The battery range is also being continuously improved. Apart from passenger-car batteries, it also includes starter batteries for commercial vehicles, motorized two-wheelers, and recreational vehicles, such as motor homes and camper vans.

For classic cars, Bosch Classic has reissued 1950s-style 6-volt and 12-volt batteries as part of a reengineering project. Bosch Classic produces the battery in a historical design. On the inside, however, it is equipped with modern technology, such as backfire protection integrated in the cover and calcium-technology plates. Furthermore, it is manufactured in accordance with the latest environmental and quality standards. This means that these batteries offer nearly the same safety standards and long service life as modern starter batteries.

In 2016, Bosch garnered Automechanika Frankfurt’s Innovation Award for its lithium-ion two-wheeler battery. 2019 saw the debut of the Bosch TA AGM, a commercial-vehicle battery for high energy requirements in the demanding long-distance haulage market. For the original equipment service, moreover, Bosch has been developing and manufacturing 48-volt batteries for mild-hybrid vehicles since the end of 2019. The 48-volt battery stores braking energy and supports the combustion engine during acceleration. This reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Readers’ contact:
Robert Bosch GmbH
Automotive Aftermarket
Phone +49 9001 942010

Contact person for press inquiries:
Carolin Lüdecke,
Phone (+49) 721 942-3417

The Automotive Aftermarket division (AA) provides the aftermarket and repair shops worldwide with modern diagnostic and repair-shop equipment and a wide range of spare parts – from new and exchange parts to repair solutions – for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Its product portfolio includes products made as Bosch original equipment, as well as aftermarket-specific products and services developed and manufactured in-house. About 13,000 associates in more than 150 countries, as well as a global logistics network, ensure that spare parts reach customers quickly and on time. AA supplies testing and repair-shop technology, diagnostic software, service training courses, and information services. In addition, the division is responsible for the “Bosch Service” repair-shop franchise, one of the world’s largest independent chains of repair shops, with some 15,000 workshops, and more than 1,000 “AutoCrew” partners.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 421,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2022). The company generated sales of 88.2 billion euros in 2022. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 470 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. With its more than 400 locations worldwide, the Bosch Group has been carbon neutral since the first quarter of 2020. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 136 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 85,500 associates in research and development, of which nearly 44,000 are software engineers.

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