Bosch Solid-State Lithium-Ion Batteries Could Hit EV Market Within 5 Years

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

Bosch has been showing off its current solid-state, lithium-ion battery concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, according to recent reports, claiming that the new solid-state battery cells could double energy density, while actually lowering costs, not increasing them. The company claims that these electric vehicle (EV) batteries could be ready for production in only 5 years, or less.

Part of the claim of production-readiness in under 5 years is due the company’s acquisition of the startup Seeo, it claims, as well as internal developments.



If the claims have truth to them, then that would mean that an EV with a 100 or so miles of range could see that doubled to 200 miles of range, all while actually lowering battery costs, all within 5 years — an impressive accomplishment, if it pans out.

The chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, Dr Volkmar Denner, commented: “Bosch is using its knowledge and considerable financial resources to achieve a breakthrough for electromobility. Solid-state cells could be a breakthrough technology. Disruptive start-up technology is meeting the broad systems knowledge and financial resources of a multinational company.”

The company has previously predicted that around 15% of all new cars will be, at the very least, a hybrid, if not an fully electric, by the year 2025 — so, unsurprisingly, the company seems to be trying to position itself to take advantage of that.

Green Car Congress provides more:

To this end, in 2014 Bosch joined GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corporation in establishing the joint venture Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co KG, the objective of which is to develop a more powerful generation of lithium-ion batteries.

Bosch said that Seeo’s technology complements the work done thus far with Bosch’s Japanese partners. The result will be a combination of start-up technology with Bosch’s systems and technology know-how, GS Yuasa’s cell competence, and Mitsubishi Corporation’s broad industrial base. Due to its acquisition of Seeo Inc, Bosch now possesses the first sample cells which have the potential to meet the high standards of the automotive industry where durability and safety are concerned.

Until these claims become a market reality, though, they should all be taken with a grain is salt. Interesting nonetheless.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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28 thoughts on “Bosch Solid-State Lithium-Ion Batteries Could Hit EV Market Within 5 Years

  • Please don’t drop naked links. Write out your comment and use the link to back it up.

    Now what I see there is a “proposition”. I don’t see production dates or cost.

    • It is really very simple. It says FIVE years Bob, but we already have these capacitors that are also solid state and have 375 wh/kh and should cost $40. Now I could understand that you do not know these numbers, but look at it this way in 5 years things will chage dramatically. This is because we already have Li ion batteries and capacitors that can provide us with what we need. It always a good idea to have more range and cheaper products. My point is that five years is too long. ok?

      • You’re right, I don’t know the numbers and didn’t find the numbers on the page you linked.

        When you say “we already have” are you implying that you are part of the “we”? If so, tell us everything you can.

        In fact, give us enough hard information to write an article. If you’ve got a proven product and at least a decent price estimate then let’s get the info out.

        (Looking at the spec sheet on the linked page I see >500 cycles. That is not a lot of cycles.)

        • Ok. It was on youtube I beg you to forgive me but I am sure you can fish it out and you will hear them say $40. Now as for the We; I mean you and me and all of us. We already have Tesla. Tesla is providing Li ion battery packs that are doing the job.

          As for the 500 cycles. If we say that the kwh is $40 thus 100kwh is $4000. if we assume that you will use 200 watts for every mile then you will be able to travel 500 miles with a 100 kwh battery pack. So if you multiply 500 miles by 500 times you will get 250000 miles for just $4000! a good deal I would say. Don’t forget that you will be able to charge it in a very short time.

          • Not my or other reader’s job to fish it out. We tend to bring the info to the group here.

            0.2 kWh per mile is a bit low. Let’s use 0.3 kWh/mile which may be a bit high but avoids over optimistic outcomes.

            A 100 kWh supercapacitor pack. 300 miles per charge. 500 cycle life would be 150,000 miles which is likely acceptable. Especially if the cost was around $40/kwh, $4,000 for a full pack. One cap-pack swap out would make it a 300k car.

            80 Wh/kg (“Silver”) to 375 Wh/kg (“Platinum”). I’m seeing 233 Wh/kg for Tesla’s lithium ion battery.

            If the $40/kWh battery is 80 Wh/kg we’re not going to haul around 100 kWhs. If the 375 Wh/kg is $40 then that sounds really good. But I’m not ready to accept $40/kWh for their highest capacity pack.

            Until we see some actual production and costs best to treat this one as a “maybe”.

          • The thing that could be a big thing Bob is that if it is possible for you and me and the rest of the world to actually do this device at home. Robert has lots of videos to show how to make graphene at home. I did it myself.

            The other thing here is that it is not only Robert and Sunvault that are working on this. Many others are. So you see 5 years is a long time. Who knows what will happen by then. All we know is that TODAY we have storage devices that are sub 300wh/kg. Some are really cheap but might not be suitable for automotive applications but are for solar, wind etc.

            Tesla is reducing the cost of their packs.

            This is important to note now Bob. There is a diffrence between cell and pack. Packs need balancing and in some cases cooling or heating, so packs usually cost 15% to 25% more. But at any rate it is a good step in the right direction.

          • I’ve read 5,000 cycles for Tesla’s battery. (I’m not sure if that is correct.) If they can get the price down to $150/kWh then this would be:
            $150/kWh / 5,000cycles = 3c/kWh over the life of battery

            You’re saying 500 cycles at $40/kWh. That would be:
            $40/kWh / 500cycles = 8c/kWh over the life of the battery
            Not as good a deal!

            500 cycles sucks! If this is a capacitor based battery, then it really sucks. Something is wrong.

            500 cycles / 365 days in years = 1.37 years …not good
            I’ll leave it to you to do the same math using just the work days of the week. Gee, maybe you get two whole years before you have to replace that battery.

            Cycle life is important in most battery storage applications. Until lithium batteries it was one of the limiters.
            Thanks for the info, but I’m not as excited about your capacitor battery. Quick charging is great, but not at expense of overall economics of use. The later is far more important right now.

      • I’m with Bob, your web link and comment did not provide information on actual shipping product (is there any?). I did see in a press release the firm was to be at last weeks Battery Expo in Novi MI, did anyone go to this show?

        What sort of info was on display at the booth? Did they have working samples?

        The list of who’s who in the firm seems legit, but this has the same smell of E-CAT, lots of neat press releases but no visible product. Bosch is is showing lab samples and saying 5 years. If there is something sooner, lets see the production run.

        If you know more or could get them to share more that would be great and helpful.

        • Here is a flier I picked up at their booth at The Battery Show. I think we have some jumbled facts here that I feel pretty confident I can help unjumble: they are publishing 500 cycles only because that’s all the count they have had time to test for. Capacitive storage without liquid dielectrics should have a much longer life. It is my belief that they will demonstrate 10,000+ cycles with less than 20% degradation at 90% discharge. I have not seen test results to demonstrate that. We will see. If I am right, this of course will exceed every batteries limitations. They are working on improving test methods. Also, they have published 375 kWh/kg, but they are being fairly conservative. While at The Battery Show, I did talk with some high end battery makers. They had Li-ion tech and were developing a 1000 kWh/L, 350 Wh/kg battery at a cost of about $700/kWh with 5,000 cycles at an 80% discharge. That will release within 2 years they thought. With SunVault, the COST to produce them will be in the $40-$100/kWh range. What you and I pay will have supporting system (Battery management system) and markup. DOE is targeting $100/kWh as a retail cost. I genuinely believe this will come in the next 3 to 5 years. Angstrom, a CVD graphene equipment maker, had lab samples of 2000 kWh/kg graphene. That’s not real world, but I say that to emphasize something Robert Murray Smith pointed out to me. The theoretical storage capacity of carbon is only being exploited to 5% right now. We have loads of room to go. The control of discharge of the super capacitive based storage like SunVault’s will be a challenge most in that direction have not conquered to the level of success SunVault has. In short, supercapacitive storage will supplant redox based batteries for most applications (I think). If not for cost alone, weight and safety will win it for super capacitive energy storage devices (ESDs). SunVault just has to get their first test cases, certifications, and product documentation out there. I am impressed by their team and am hopeful the market follows their lead. The whole energy landscape will be the better for it.

          • (How about editing that and creating some paragraphs.)

            I question the ‘not enough time’ for more than 500 cycles. They wouldn’t be testing a huge capacity unit right now, but something that could be cycled very quickly. And, remember, this is a supercapacitor which should charge and discharge very rapidly.

            If they could get a reliable 1,000 cycles they’d have an EV solution. 1,000 cycles x 250 mile range = 250k.

            ” 350 Wh/kg battery at a cost of about $700/kWh with 5,000 cycles at an 80% discharge”

            Price is way too high. Tesla is doing fine carrying around all the weight it now carries. It would make no sense to pay multiple times as much for lighter weight batteries. The market there would be airplanes, I imagine.

            Lithium-ion batteries also have a long way to go before they hit their theoretical limit.

          • I was typing on the cell phone. That’s why my paragraph structure is poor. My apologies.

            I don’t think you associated the characteristics you were scoffing at with the correct technology. Those characteristics were from a high-end lithium ion maker. They were not from SunVault. I pointed them out to say those are the marks to beat by lithium ion makers in the next couple years. However, super capacitive storage will exceed them easily.

            I am not sure why you were rooting so heavily for battery technology. Redox reactions were always yield more entropy than capacitive electricity storage. Redox reactions will always require cooling were super capacitive storage will not. I would not blame you for being such an advocate of battery technology if you had a stake in it. Otherwise I would reconsider looking more into super capacitive technology and being more open-minded about it.

          • I am rooting for nothing. Except solutions.

            I questioned why SunVault has only tested ~500 cycles. That number is on their web site.

            Most of the lab/development/prototype batteries I’ve seen are small enough to carry around in one hand, perhaps hold no more energy than a couple D cells. Discharging/charging a small battery – a supercapacitor – dozens of times a day should be possible. Thousands in a week.

            I pointed out that $700/kWh is too high to compete in today’s market. Panasonic/Tesla is around $250 and heading to <$130/kWh. EOS Energy is taking orders at $160/kWh. Other batteries 'in development' are shooting for $100/kWh.

            How you get from there to "scoffing" is a jump I don't understand.

  • In five years will Bosch be where Tesla is today?

    Bosch has given little details about cost.

    Bosch is behind the game and playing catch up with acquisition of Seeo startup from competitor Samsung.

    Apparently, Samsung may need cash due to its court loss to Apple. Samsung does not seem to see Seeo as their battery future.

    Battery advancement proclamations have a way of going silent one lifetime tests are done.

    Lets see what Bosch can do with this.

  • 15% by 2025? More like 80%.

    • Agreed, Philip. This was the one thing that stuck to me in the article as being way off base. I don’t know about 80% (due mostly to the longevity of cars), but I think north of 50% is certainly feasible.

      • Well, the article says ‘new cars’ so I assuming that means 15% of new cars sold in 2025. The chance that 80% of new cars sold are either BEVs or PHVs is very high in my opinion.

  • Bosch’s magic future batteries will presumably power Audi’s 500-km magic future car. What’s the German for vapourware?

    • heiße Luft (hot air)

      • Hot air and vaporware are not really the same. But someone sell vaporware is normally full of hot air. 😉

        • Are you german? So how do you know?
          ‘Heiße’ Luft’ is what we use for this kind of stuff. Something similar is “leere Versprechungen” (empty promises).

        • another native German speaker checking in.. ‘heisse Luft’ is the usual term for vaporware.

          • Don’t be telling Matt what the correct German expression is! LOL

  • ” in only 5 years, or less” I don’t think this will be too late. Even if Tesla can deliver the GigaFactory at full production by 2020 (same time frame Bosch is quoting), we’re only talking about 500K to 750K cars a year. That’s a drop in the bucket. To Elon’s point, we need hundreds of these GigaFactories. Tesla will be lucky to have 3 or 4 in place by that time. It’s going to take all battery manufacturers building GigaFactories at break neck speed for the next 15 to 20 years to replace all the new ICE cars sold per year. Even if we’re talking about technology that doubles the battery capacity, we still need 100 Gigafactories.

    • I’m with Rich, I’m hoping for several manufactures to start producing much cheaper batteries at 10x giga factory scale. But last time I looked I only saw announced plans that from one player that claimed that they were looking to add about 1 giga factory worth around the world before 2020. Yes seen several Lio-solid players with promising results in lab, and players working with super and mega-super capacitors; but no products in production. It is a long road from paper to lab prototype to production prototype to production.

  • “New solid-state battery cells could double energy density, while actually lowering costs, not increasing them.”

    Density claim is specific but cost reduction claim is rather vague as stated. It could simply mean a cost reduction per kWh – not necessarily twice the range for less total cost. Most claims I’ve seen for solid-state lithium are increased density with decreased cost per kWH.

    Combinations include:

    1) a smaller by half volume battery with same range for less money;
    2) same price battery that’s a little smaller vol. with somewhat increased range;
    3) same vol. battery with twice the range at X<100% increase in price.

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