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Batteries Image Credit: Bosch

Published on June 1st, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown

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Bosch Expects EVs To Achieve 180 Miles Of Range “Minimum” By 2020

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June 1st, 2013 by
 
Bosch, a German manufacturer of automobile components, has said that it is optimistic that electric vehicles will be offered with a minimum of 180 miles of range per charge by 2020.

Image Credit: Bosch

Image Credit: Bosch

Is this possible? Technically, yes. Electric vehicles have already exceeded that range. (On the high end, for example: some Tesla Motors vehicles achieve up to 300 miles per charge, but an average of 265 miles based on the EPA test cycle). But such vehicles have so far been quite expensive. Bosch seems confident that will change in the coming few years.

The likelihood of this minimum range offer would be determined by the feasibility and cost of certain batteries. If the cost of batteries decreases enough, there would be enough financial room to install 180 miles worth of batteries in all electric vehicles. Alternatively, even if batteries didn’t get cheaper, if their gravimetric energy densities increased enough, that would increase their range because they would be lighter.

Fortunately, gravimetric battery energy density is improving, and battery costs are decreasing. Therefore, electric vehicles look like they are on the path to the 180 mile minimum.

Bosch also expects a plug-in electric vehicle mass market by 2020.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.



  • Ronald Brak

    I expect we’ll see short range models that would make either a good second car or the only car for those on a budget. Long range electric vehicles which can travel 250 km or more will take over the role of most gasoline powered cars and will use fast chargers for occasional long distance trips, while people who do a lot of highway driving will use plug in hybrids. Of course once self driving cars take off it could change this dynamic.

    By 2020 I imagine it would also be quite cheap to build cars with photovoltaic surfaces which would further extend range, although this would be of more use in Botswana than in Wales. And cars won’t have to all be the same colour. PV can be confined to the roof, or if one is willing to take a hit to efficieny it should be possible to make PV any colour one wants. Even white if one doesn’t mind wasting the visible spectrum.

  • arne-nl

    According to a statement by Elon Musk (I’ll just take his word for it), batteries improve by 8% per year in cost/kWh and energy density. That means the price for a battery of a given (physical) size will stay the same, but it can store 8% more per year.

    Extrapolate that trend 7 years into the future and in 2020 you get 71% more capacity in the same package and for the same price.

    The LEAF currently has an EPA range of 84 miles (with 100% charge), so that becomes 144 by 2020.

    That is pretty close to what Bosch is predicting.

    • Bob_Wallace

      That’s a ‘business as usual’ prediction. I think it could be too conservative based on the amount of battery research now happening.

  • Bob_Wallace

    I think 2020 is a safe prediction.

    Assuming that it takes about two years to take new battery technology from lab to factory we could reach the “affordable 180 mile range” threshold much sooner.

    We could hit that point by 2015 and have witnessed a major market shift to EVs by 2020. Once EVs achieve range at about the same price as ICEVs I expect the market to shift very rapidly.

    • Ross

      Agreed, he isn’t putting his neck on the line with that one.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I suspect there is an intermediate “psychological” threshold that once passed will result in a major increase in EV sales.

        Market a “Nissan LEAF” with a solid 100 mile range and I’d bet sales would soar.

        There would be a lot of conversations in multi-car households along the line of “You know, these gas bills for my <100 mile RT) commute is wrecking our budget. I could move to a EV, we could save serious money, and we could use your gasmobile for the few longer trips we make."

        A lot of people could do that now with 70 mile ranges, but I suspect moving into the 3 digit range would wipe out a lot of range anxiety.

  • ThomasGerke

    “Bosch, a German manufacturer of automobile components” is kind of an understatement, since Bosch is the world’s largest supplier of automotive components with more than 300k employees around the world (including aprox. 25k in the US). ;-)

    According to their press releases, they are also spending about half a billion Dollar per year on e-mobility related R&D.

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