Bosch 48-volt lithium-ion battery for mild-hybrid systemsEnlarge Photo
Whether car buyers are ready or not, many future cars will boast some sort of electrification.
The numerous announcements from automakers declare their brands will begin electrifying all vehicles post a certain date; to be clear, that does not mean cars will be solely electric.
What it does likely mean is a widespread adoption of 48-volt mild-hybrid systems and Bosch believes it has the solution to a cost-efficient 48-volt lithium-ion battery.
The company announced its new 48-volt lithium-ion battery and promises the standardized technology is completely flexible, no matter the size of a car.
Cost is one of the major factors some believe paints a dim future for the benefits of 48-volt mild-hybrid systems, but Bosch engineered and developed the battery as an off-the-shelf approach for any automaker or start-up company, according to Germany's Automobilwoche.
Although challenging, Bosch created the lithium-ion battery without active cooling and a plastic cover houses the cells, rather than a metal one.
Bosch 48-volt mild hybridEnlarge Photo
Battery cells expand when charged, which often makes plastic an inappropriate material for the housing, however, Bosch re-arranged the cells so the plastic housing can withstand the pressure.
The cells are also no larger than needed to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles; 48-volt systems work by powering various functions of the car, which saves fuel and leaves the internal-combustion engine with less work.
They can also provide a boost of power to the wheels through regenerative braking but the system can't drive the wheels on its own.
Although Bosch doesn't mention it explicitly, 48-volt electrical systems could also allow the internal-combustion engine to shut off in more situations and act as a more aggressive stop/start system.
A global call to curb emissions has led many automakers to speed up development of technologies to reduce carbon output, especially in China, and in Europe where diesel fuel's dominance is in decline.
Gas pumpEnlarge Photo
Many European countries and Asian nations have laid out plans to ban the sale of new cars powered by fossil fuels.
Bosch says it's won a "significant number of series projects" with its new 48-volt battery and it's speaking with more than a dozen companies about implementing the system.
Regular 12-volt electrical systems have long enjoyed economies of scale, but Bosch seeks to implement the same benefits with its 48-volt system.
"We are confident that we will have a leading position in the market for 48-volt batteries," Michael Budde, Managing Director of Bosch Battery Systems, said.