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Every year, Bosch is investing some 400 million euros on powertrain electrification
Following the successful launch of Bosch parallel full-hybrid technology, the company is also increasingly investing in the development of powertrain technologies for all-electric vehicles. Today, some 800 Bosch associates worldwide develop technologies for hybrid and electric vehicles. Bosch makes some 400 million euros available for development work on powertrain electrification every year.
To explore and create the environment needed for electromobility, Bosch is working together with other companies in three government-funded projects that cover the major areas of electromobility development: “eperformance” deals with the electric vehicles themselves, “MeRegio-Mobil” deals with the integration of the electric vehicle into a future (batterycharging) infrastructure, and “BeMobility” deals with testing new mobility services. Within these projects, Bosch expertise contributes a great deal toward exploring, evaluating, and further developing technology, infrastructure, and mobility concepts. In the end, this will pave the way for a gradual roll-out of electric vehicles. Out of 100 million newly produced vehicles in 2020, Bosch expects to see some three million electric cars and plug-in hybrids, as well as six million hybrid vehicles.
Together with the lithium-ion batteries that are developed in the SB LiMotive joint venture set up with Samsung, Bosch is now in a position to supply the entire electric powertrain – from the energy storage medium to the electric motor. This means that Bosch has already established a complete product portfolio for hybrid and electric powertrains. It includes core components such as the power electronics which control the energy flows in hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as high-torque electric motors. Work is underway to prepare series production of power electronics components in Reutlingen and of electric motors in Hildesheim. Then there are the chargers which will allow plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles to recharge from the power socket.
The potential of electric vehicles can be exploited above all in the megacities, which are growing rapidly worldwide. If they are powered by electricity from renewable sources, electric cars can also play a significant role in reducing CO2 emissions. For driving over medium to long distances, economical diesel and gasoline engines, which are being continuously improved, come into their own. Hybrid vehicles are an option for short-, medium-, and longdistance driving, while fuel-cell vehicles are especially suitable for long distances. “This is why we are not limiting our efforts to just one powertrain – we are working to develop diesel and gasoline engines further, while at the same time making a concerted effort to electrify the powertrain,” Bulander says.
The Abstatt municipal council in the Heilbronn district is cooperating with the Bosch Group to enhance the local childcare facilities
At the Bosch Development Center in Abstatt a ground-breaking ceremony for a new children's daycare facility was held recently. On completion, the facility will offer 80 childcare places, 60 of which are to be filled by the children of Bosch associates. Due to open in mid-2011, these expanded facilities will offer mothers and fathers at Bosch greater flexibility at the workplace and prevent the loss of know-how. It will also enhance the Bosch Group's employer attraction.
This is the first time that Bosch has been actively involved in the construction of a children's daycare center. In this area, the company usually works with municipal councils or other childcare institutions. Bosch has already established such initiatives at 16 locations, including collaborations with municipal councils and external institutions, crèches, and parent initiatives. In addition, an internal childcare exchange has been set up on the Bosch intranet to enable parents at Bosch to find suitable childcare solutions faster and easier than before. After positive feedback, this service is now also available over the Internet. All the relevant information on creating the right balance between career and family life at Bosch can be found in the “Career and family” Internet portal.
Since 2008, Bosch is expanding its part-time job offering, with the aim of providing parents with better opportunities for reentering the workforce. “In these times of demographic change, we can no longer afford to forgo highly qualified and motivated workers with children. As childcare places are few and far between, it is crucial that we offer associates with young families suitable child-care facilities,” explains Bernhard Bihr, President of Bosch Engineering GmbH in Abstatt.
Bosch is participating in a joint research project undertaken by the German automotive industry with the aim of reducing fuel consumption
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has joined forces with the automotive industry in Germany to launch a new research project. Together, eleven industry partners plan to spend the next two years researching innovative technologies and concepts for cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This Automotive Electronics innovation alliance has given rise to a project known as “Energy-efficient driving 2014” (EFA 2014). Its objective is to cut fuel consumption by up to ten percent. Supported by the BMBF as part of the German government's high-tech strategy, the initiative aims to play its part in achieving the EU goal of cutting CO2 by 20 percent by the year 2020.
Over the next two years, the project will take a two-pronged approach to researching innovative solutions for energy-efficient driving. Firstly, vehicles are to become more intelligent. By applying knowledge of the routes to be taken, for example, it will be possible to develop predictive operating strategies for saving energy. Data from navigation, radar, and camera systems provide an opportunity to anticipate driving situations that involve higher energy requirements or an excess of energy. In turn, this allows enough time to initiate a response from the vehicle or driver. Secondly, vehicle electrical systems and associated components will be specially tailored to the potential offered by the intelligent operating strategies. For example, the architecture of the electrical system will be redesigned to ensure optimum recovery of braking energy. The expected results of the project will also prove important for future generations of electric vehicles, as their energy management systems stand to benefit greatly from predictive operating strategies.
Taking recommended routes can also contribute to more energy-efficient and consumption-optimized driving. In summer 2010, a navigation system newly developed by Bosch will be ready for series production, and integrated into a range of vehicles. While conventional systems look for either the fastest or the shortest route from A to B, consumption-optimized versions have, until now, worked by identifying the statistical average between the fastest and shortest journeys. In contrast, the new route planner takes into account key ecological and economic factors, such as the terrain, class of road, any built-up areas on the route, and the number of junctions. The navigation algorithms also factor in vehicle- and driver-specific parameters, such as engine, air resistance, and the level of care and awareness shown by the driver. As extensive field tests carried out by Bosch have shown, the new ECO2 navigation system cuts fuel consumption by an average of nine percent – and the journey takes just nine percent longer than if the driver opts for the fastest route.
Representatives from the worlds of politics, business, and research used the “Sustainability get-together” by econsense and Robert Bosch GmbH to discuss climate protection in buildings
Representatives from the worlds of politics, business, and research used the “Sustainability get-together” by econsense and Robert Bosch GmbH to discuss climate protection in buildings.
Politicians, scientists, and some 50 other guests joined econsense and Robert Bosch GmbH at the latter's Berlin office to discuss how decentralized domestic energy supply can help cut CO2 emissions. Uwe Glock, chairman of the board of management of Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH, highlighted significant potential for savings in residential buildings that can be unlocked cost-effectively and using existing technology.
Energy consumption in buildings is currently responsible for around 40 percent of CO2 emissions worldwide. In Germany, more than 40 percent of primary energy consumption is accounted for by buildings, 85 percent of this being used to heat rooms and hot water. “Old and inefficient equipment is still used for this purpose in most buildings and should be replaced as quickly as possible by the efficient technology now available,” says Glock.
The products offered by the Bosch Thermotechnology division for efficient domestic energy supply can play a major role in achieving climate targets. Examples include solar thermal collectors combined with condensing boilers and cogeneration equipment. According to calculations by Bosch, using efficient technology to heat rooms and hot water could reduce annual CO2 emissions by some 55 million metric tons in Germany alone.
The Bosch Thermotechnology division achieved significant growth in sales of solar thermal systems in 2009. Business involving renewable energies accounted for 15 percent of total sales. In the years ahead, the division is looking to systematically expand activities with systems for using renewable energies and energy-efficient solutions.
Having been awarded the third Robert Bosch Junior Professorship, Dr. Regina Palkovits intends to establish a research group to study the efficient use of biomass
New developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung
Following on from Dr. Nina Farwig (2008) and Dr. Asia Khamzina (2009), Dr. Palkovits was awarded this year's Robert Bosch Junior Professorship by Dr. Kurt Liedtke, chairman of the board of trustees of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and Prof. Klaus Töpfer, chairman of the selection committee, for the sustainable use of natural resources. In a research group at RWTH Aachen University (Germany), Dr. Palkovits is examining how biomass can be used in the long term to produce plastics or fuel, for example.
On the occasion of the Junior Professorship award ceremony at Robert Bosch's former residence, Dr. Palkovits talked with Dr. Christine Kolmar, executive board member at WWF Deutschland, and Dr. Torsten Henzelmann, greentech expert and partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, about ways of developing the raw materials of the future. Dr. Palkovits, born in 1980, studied chemical engineering at TU Dortmund University and gained her doctorate at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (Max Planck Institute for Coal Research). She is also an ambassador for Science Year 2010 with the motto “The Future of Energy,” an initiative launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
In view of the increasing scarcity of raw materials and the move towards climate protection, generating energy from plants is seen as a very innovative and promising approach. If scientists succeed in future in splitting the cellulose in plant cells into tiny parts much more efficiently than has so far been possible, this would open up many new areas of application. It could be used, for example, as a renewable raw material for the production of chemicals and fuels. Using the research results from the working group for the efficient use of biomass, Dr. Palkovits also wants to help developing countries and emerging markets position themselves as “energy suppliers of the future.
The topic's relevance to today's society, the innovative research approach, and Dr. Palkovits' previous achievements all combined to win over the selection committee chaired by Professor Klaus Töpfer. In his speech, the former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) underlined the close links between the fundamental convictions of Robert Bosch and the goals pursued by the program of the Junior Professorship “Sustainable Use of Natural Resources.” The Robert Bosch Stiftung sets aside up to 1 million euros for a period of five years for junior professorships in order to fund independent research at a German university or a chosen research institute. The deadline has just closed for entries for the next Robert Bosch Junior Professorship, which will be awarded in 2011.