Bosch, Daimler, launch e-car motors JV
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 field of electric mobility is to pool competencies and exploit synergies, and as a result to accelerate the development of premium traction motors for electric vehicles with battery, fuel cell, or range extender. The preparatory activities for the establishment of the joint venture have already begun, and the production of motors is due to commence at the start of 2012. From that same year, the traction motors will be used in the electric vehicles of both the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands, starting with the new generation of the Smart fortwo electric drive, which is to go on sale in early 2012.
The distinctive feature of the electric motors produced by the joint venture is their modular design, which means that they can be installed in a wide variety of all-electric vehicles, Bosch said.
The joint venture will supply its parent companies with electric motors for electric vehicles. Sales to third parties will be carried out by Bosch. The joint venture plans to produce more than one million electric motors by 2020.
Both companies will contribute engineering know-how with regard to development and production of electric traction motors.
The joint venture agreement is subject to the approval by the antitrust authorities.