Bosch bets on synergies between electromobility and connectivity

February 05, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
One of the major roadblocks for electromobility is the fragmented charging landscape: For long-distance rides, e-car drivers not only have to stop and recharge their batteries rather often. What makes things worse: To get the electric refill for the battery, drivers must utilise many different payment systems. Bosch Software Innovations (BSI), a subsidiary of Robert Bosch Group, now is developing a smartphone app that allows drivers to plug in to any charging station regardless of the payment system or electricity provider.

With the move, BSI extends its strategy to facilitate electric driving not only at the car level but likewise at the infrastructure level. In this context, payment systems - or apps that span multiple payment systems - play a major role. As recently as December 2014, Daimler introduced its Charge & Pay system enables owners of its electric B-series vehicles to charge almost wherever they want (at least in Germany). To our knowledge, this app has been developed by Bosch and highlights the direction in which the Swabian traditional all-hardware company plans to develop.

At the CAR Symposium this week in Duisburg (Germany), Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner outlined the mobility landscape of the future, as seen from Bosch's perspective. In a nutshell, Denner explained that connectivity and electromobility are two building blocks for indivual mobility that are very complementary. "The best electric car is the networked electric vehicle", Denner said.

Electric mobility does not start at all-electric vehicles; in Bosch's universe hybrid drivetrains of all types play an important role. By 2025, about 15 percent of all new vehicles built anywhere in the world will have at least some kind of hybrid drive, Denner predicted. For Europe, this figure will be even higher; Denner expects that one in three new cars will be powered at least in part electrically. A key to lowering the price level for electric vehicles is the battery price. Denner who also assumes the tasks for research and advanced development at the automotive supplier expects that by 2020 the batteries will offer twice the capacity at half the price, compared with today.

In the booming SUV market segment, hybrid drive will be standard by 2020, Denner predicted. This trend is driven by the exacerbated CO2 regulations from the European Commission. The hybridisation will lead to new developments in the area of diesel and gasoline engines that are more fuel efficient, clean and powerful than ever. "Through