Bosch, Daimler, launch e-car motors JV

July 15, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automotive tier one Robert Bosch GmbH and carmaker Daimler AG have signed agreements on the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture for electric motors. The new company, which is to be set up under the name EM-motive GmbH, will develop and produce traction motors for electric vehicles.

Motors for electric vehicles are a strategic component - not only in terms of functionality for the e-cars but also for the automotive value chain. The advent of electric vehicles confronts carmakers with the challenge to make or buy these components. Traditionally, designing motors has been regarded as a core competency for vehicle manufacturers, and companies such as Daimler, BMW or Porsche are very reluctant to place this competency into the hands of external partners. On the other hand, external suppliers in many cases already have a long standing tradition and expertise in designing and manufacturing electrical motors. Against this background the agreement between Bosch and Daimler can be seen as significant concession to the insight that developing electric motors by a traditional carmaker would be similar to re-inventing the wheel.

EM-motive will be headquartered and run its production in Hildesheim near Hannover. The joint venture's engineering site will be located close to the parent companies in the Stuttgart area. Some 100 employees are expected to start working for the joint venture in the fourth quarter of this year. EM-motive GmbH will be headed up by two directors of equal rank, one from each partner company.

According to Herbert Kohler, Vice President e-drive & Future Mobility in Group Research & Advanced Engineering and Chief Environmental Officer of Daimler AG: "Like lithium-ion batteries, electric motors are key components for our electric vehicles. In joining forces with Bosch, we have now teamed up with a long-standing partner, and are confident that this move will lead to outstanding results."

Bosch board member Wolf-Henning Scheider who oversees the company's Chassis Systems Control, Electrical Drives, and Starter Motors and Generators divisions called the move "an investment in securing the future of the European automotive industry", and a perfect addition to Bosch's portfolio of electric motors for its customers.

According to a joint press release, the aim of the cooperation between Daimler and Bosch in the