Robert Bosch GmbH appears to be setting up a new lithium-ion plant in Eisenach, Germany. They are dubbing it a “pilot production line” and it seems to be geared towards making inroads into efficiencies and mass-production of newer, better lithium-ion battery cells and assemblies. The line is fast under way and should be yielding its first trial samples in 2012, with rapid, continuing expansion until it can produce over 200,000 cells per year by 2015. Bosch isn’t going it alone, either, being joined by the legendary materials expert BASF (yes, they make more than just magnetic tapes!) and ThyssenKrupp System Engineering who specializes in process plant engineering. The goal is to ramp up and supply Europe with a supplier network for materials and production machinery.
To get started, Bosch will start small, but grow their project team to around 80 members who will contribute towards the development of new anode, cathode, and electrolyte materials. They will also work to see if they can’t improve the interactions between them – which is where battery materials advancement comes from. It is hoped that this process will result in new manufacturing techniques, improved efficiencies and lower cost, higher-power solutions.
We’re happy to see Bosch expanding in an area that just might specifically benefit its line of power tools. Lots of research and development is being done in the realm of automotive battery technology, largely because that’s where all the grant money is right now. It’s more rare (but welcome) to see non-automotive focus on lithium-ion energy and technology.