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Inside Bosch’s EV, driverless vision

The engineering firm expects its electromobility sales to grow five-fold by 2025 and become one of its core sectors, the company announced at the IAA Mobility conference in Munich.

Bosch generated more than €1bn in sales this year in electromobility alone as it gears up for growth to tap into what it expects to be a booming market.

Stefan Hartung, chairman of Bosch’s Mobility Solutions business, said: “We are preparing for increasing demand for electric vehicles across the globe. Worldwide, we expect that 60% of all newly registered vehicles in 2035 will be electric.”

Between innovations for EVs, e-bikes and automated vehicles, the company plans to focus investment into all types of low carbon transport options.

Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board at Bosch, said: “Electromobility will become a core business for us and CO2-free mobility a growth area. We are turning challenges into opportunities. That’s how we do things at Bosch.”

‘Technology-neutral approach’

Denner said the focus for the company is to offer solutions to all types of transport, with the goal of making it carbon-friendly and affordable in order to meet the EU’s targets. Those targets include transitioning to 100% emissions-free cars by 2035.

The company is developing both battery-powered car parts and fuel cells to power larger vehicles. In China, Bosch recently partnered with Qingling Motors to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells for Chinese vehicles. At the time, Hartung said: “Especially for large, heavy vehicles that travel long distances, the fuel cell offers clear advantages over the battery-electric powertrain.”

A test fleet of 70 trucks launched this year in China, and Bosch expects a market launch of its fuel cell system by 2022/2023.

At the conference, Bosch also unveiled a new charging cable for EVs, which is compatible with both charging stations and household plugs, eliminating the need for an in-cable control box and making it 40% lighter.

Automating driving

With 5,000 engineers working on automated driving at Bosch, the company expects driverless cars to become a reality in the not too distant future.

Trials are underway for automated valet parking in Germany and the US. Bosch is working with Mercedes-Benz, equipping the manufacturer’s S-Class cars with technology to navigate car parks. The car parks – totalling 1,000 by 2025 –are equipped with video cameras to enable the car to drive itself to a reserved parking bay.

Connection to smart buildings

Vehicles, Bosch believes, are increasingly becoming ‘internet nodes’. As a result, the company has focused its attention on developing software to increase EVs’ connectivity. This includes voice commands built into some Mercedes vehicles, which drivers can use to connect to smart home devices, turn lights on and off, open blinds and control the heating at home.

Hartung said: “Bosch isn’t just about cars but also knows its way around the factory and home environments. Like no other company, we can connect different domains with each other.”

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