While many of the big names such as Tesla grab the headlines in the electric vehicle market, behind the scenes there is intense activity in the area of lithium ion batteries. These are the food for the modern day electric vehicle and while costs have come down over the last few years, it seems there is more to follow in the short term. Bosch has been using the Frankfurt Motor Show as a platform to promote its new solid-state lithium ion batteries in which the company has tremendous faith.
So, what can we expect from Bosch in the short to medium term and could this be "yet another" turning point for the electric car industry?
Double journey capacity
While Bosch has been investing heavily in the area of lithium ion batteries, it has also been on the acquisition trail bringing alternative technology into the company. The group believes that this significant investment and the acquisition of start-up company Seeo, will lead to a major breakthrough. The announcement at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show suggested that the company expects to have its new battery technology ready for the commercial market within five years.
This solid-state lithium ion battery concept will immediately double the energy capacity and therefore double the journey capacity of each vehicle. However, the other bonus to this technology (assuming it comes to fruition) is the fact it is even cheaper than current technology. So we have a potential doubling of journey capacity and a reduction in costs. Is this the Holy Grail for the electric car battery industry?
More investment in battery technology
Over the last few weeks it has become apparent that significant funds are being targeted towards new battery technology, some of which is based around lithium ion batteries while others look at totally different technology. This is the second such battery which promises double the journey capacity of conventional battery technology and strengthens the idea that we could be on the verge of a major change for the industry.
As we have mentioned in the past, much of the recent research and development investment seems to have focused around the vehicles and their engines. In many ways battery technology was pushed to the sidelines although this has certainly changed of late!
Journey capacity issues
Journey capacity and journey anxiety are issues which are spoken of time and time again by those who "know about" the electric car industry. However research has shown that only those who have yet to actually drive an electric vehicle have such concerns. It seems that once behind the wheel those who have switched to electric vehicles have no such worries.
The last week has seen some dramatic announcements in the area of battery technology, with two companies promising the introduction of new technology in the short to medium term which will immediately double journey capacity. While we have seen such announcements over the years - many of which have failed to come to fruition, there does seem to be more of a realistic approach to battery technology today.
If even one of these two particular technologies was delivered to the marketplace in the short to medium term, would this really be the game changer we have all been hoping for?