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Bosch Automotive Intensifies Electric R&D

Bosch Automotive and Samsung to invest between USD 300 and 400 million in this domain over the next four years; predict market volume of 3 million hybrid vehicles by 2015

Bosch Automotive has confirmed that it is significantly increasing its R&D investments into electro-mobility technologies to cater to the future market of the electric vehicle, which is envisioned to eventually replace today's regular combustion engine car. Of the 91 million new passenger cars and light trucks worldwide in 2015, Bosch expects that more than three percent will be hybrid and electric vehicles. Bosch Automotive and Samsung are set to invest between USD 300 and 400 million in this domain over the next four years.

The company will be forming new partnerships to focus on technologies that can help it secure a leading position in the hybrid vehicles market. In combination with electric motors, gasoline hybrids emit 25 percent less CO2 than conventional gasoline engines and diesel hybrids 20 percent less than their conventional counterparts. The market maturity of these electric vehicles will increase as engineers succeed in improving the energy and power density of battery technology, and as drivers become more willing to accept ranges of between 100 and 200 kilometers between recharging stops. Bosch Automotive has already entered into a joint venture with Samsung which will lead to the production of lithium-ion batteries starting 2011. These batteries will become essential components for forward-looking automotive technologies, such as hybrid and electric cars. Bosch and Samsung predict a market volume of around 3 million hybrid vehicles by 2015. Their collaboration will thus target the optimization of lithium-ion battery technology to meet the stringent requirements of hybrid vehicles in areas such as power density and safety and ultimately lead to purely electrically-powered driving over long distances.

Volker Bischoff, General Manager, Bosch Middle East FZE, said: “We foresee a lot of potential in hybrid solutions and will thus continue to invest heavily into this field. The Middle East is one of the regions where we believe this segment can achieve much success, and it would be a welcome addition to our expansion initiatives across the Arab markets.” Bosch continues to sustain the momentum of the various steps it took in 2008 to reinforce its strategic position in its diverse businesses. Trends such as a higher networking throughout the global economy, the rapid growth of emerging markets and escalating demand for new technologies taimed at protecting the environment and conserving resources have set the tone for the company's ongoing activities. The group intends to leverage its entrepreneurial independence, innovative potential, and broad international presence to take advantage of the opportunities that will be opened up when the present global economic downturn ends.

Bosch Group currently maintains 282,000 employees in around 150 countries, up from its 2008 workforce of 271,000. The Bosch Group currently provides occupational training to more than 6,000 youths and has no plans of cutting back on these activities.