TOKYO -- German supplier Robert Bosch GmbH and Japanese battery partner GS Yuasa Corp. are "on a good path" toward their goal of developing a lithium ion battery that costs half as much as today's batteries but has twice the energy density, a top Bosch executive said.
Achieving such performance in automotive power packs will be a major breakthrough in popularizing electrified drivetrains, promised Udo Wolz, president of Bosch's subsidiary in Japan.
The companies aim to produce such a battery by 2020, Wolz said.
"We are on a good path to reach that target," he told reporters here.
Achieving such performance in automotive power packs will be a major breakthrough in popularizing electrified drivetrains, Wolz said.
Bosch is positioning vehicle electrification as a pillar of growth as carmakers tap batteries to meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations. The supplier expects hybrid and electric-only drivetrains to account for 15 percent of the global automotive market by 2020, Wolz said.
Bosch also is rolling out a new mild-hybrid system this year that it says will improve fuel efficiency at minimal extra cost.
The cost and performance of today's lithium ion batteries are seen as hurdles to the widespread adoption of electrified cars.
The key to capping costs in Bosch's mild-hybrid system is a small, low-voltage lithium ion battery. It is only 48 volts, compared with the 220-volt battery in the Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle.
Bosch says its technology, when used with a standard gasoline internal-combustion engine, improves fuel efficiency by 5 to 18 percent. It did not specify the cost.
Bosch's 48-volt battery powers an electric motor that can assist the car's engine in powering the wheels or keep the car's electronics and climate control going during stop-start mode.
Bosch's system debuts this year in a nameplate for Europe offered by a European automaker, executives said. They declined to name the customer. Bosch aims to sell the mild hybrid system in other markets, including North America.
In 2013, GS Yuasa, Bosch and trading house Mitsubishi Corp. formed a joint venture to develop low-cost, high energy-density lithium ion batteries.