The battery of the future
The battery expert Thorsten Ochs is working on ensuring electromobility’s big breakthrough. In Renningen, he is researching lithium-ion batteries that make it possible to drive longer distances without recharging, and which also cost less.
Ten years from now, around 15 percent of all new vehicles worldwide will have an electrical powertrain. But there’s still a hitch: at a weight of 230 kilograms, the battery of a modern-day electric car currently provides only around 18 to 30 kilowatt hours. “To achieve widespread acceptance of electromobility, mid-sized vehicles need to have 50 kilowatt hours of usable energy,” Thorsten Ochs says.
Together with an international team, Thorsten Ochs is working on energy storage media that are even more powerful. The goal: to pack 50 kilowatt hours into 190 kilograms. Researchers are also looking to significantly shorten the time a car needs to recharge. “Our new batteries should be capable of being charged to 75 percent in less than 15 minutes,” Thorsten Ochs says.
The crucial know-how in the field of innovative solid-state cells for lithium batteries as well as exclusive patents will have a role to play in achieving these goals. “Solid-state cells could be a critical breakthrough technology,” Thorsten Ochs says. A comparable electric car that has a driving range today of 150 kilometers would be able to travel more than 300 kilometers without recharging – and at a lower cost.
Thanks to the purchase of Seeo Inc., a start-up based in Silicon Valley, Bosch has now acquired crucial practical expertise when it comes to making innovative solid-state batteries. Such batteries have another decisive advantage: they are produced entirely without liquid electrolytes, which are found in lithium-ion batteries, where, in certain circumstances, they can pose a safety risk.
“We are playing a crucial role in the breakthrough of electromobility.”
- Thorsten Ochs