Bosch

Bosch, the world’s biggest auto parts supplier, believes that electric
cars will dominate the global car market—but not until 2030. Speaking at
an automotive seminar in Stuttgart, Bosch chairman Bernd Bohr said the
major hurdle for electric cars remains the weight and cost of batteries.
But Bosch is confident that by 2015 it will cut weight by around 30
percent and the cost by nearly half. But the costs will have to come
down even further before electric cars will go mainstream, according to
the company.

“The electric car will come, but in small numbers at first,” said Bohr.
“It will occupy a niche and will not make a noticeable mark on the roads
until after 2020.” Bohr believes electric cars will be most successful in
Asia’s densely populated regions, and in some European and American
cities. “By 2015, we expect to see a sales volume of some 500,000 electric
vehicles worldwide.” He sees that number rising to 3 million units by
2020, with Prius-style hybrids accounting for about five million units per
year.

“At Bosch, we are investing heavily in making these visions a reality,”
said Bohr. Bosch currently employs 400 engineers to work on electric drive
technology, and is developing hybrid technology planned for production in
2010.

Bosch expects the vast majority of cars in 2020 to still use gas- and
diesel-powered engines—although they will utilize downsizing and turbo
technology to boost efficiency by as much as 50 percent.