German Firms Collaborate on Epic Lithium-Ion Battery Development Project

By · January 23, 2013

Bosch building

Bosch is but one player in this collaborative project to develop tomorrow's lithium-ion technology.

Now this is what we'd consider a collaborative effort of epic proportions. Here are the key players: Robert Bosch GmbH, BASF, Wacker Chemie AG, SGL Group, Daimler and BMW. The investment is $43 million and the goal is to develop, in three year's time, lithium-ion automotive batteries with energy density of 250 Wh/kg, roughly twice the rating of some of today's li-ion batteries.

With this list of established players, the project seems promising. Bosch will take the lead, but all of the firms listed above will assist in what's referred to as the "Alpha-Laion" project.

The joint project kicks off immediately under Germany’s National Platform for Electric Mobility and is partially funded ($17.3 million) by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The partners will be responsible for funding the remaining $26 million.

Both BMW and Daimler have a vested interest in the success of the project, as the result could be an electric vehicle with an effective range of up to 186 miles or, by reducing the size of the battery pack without sacrificing range, a low-weight electric vehicle that is more competitive in price with conventional automobiles could be possible.


· · 5 years ago

Battery pack with 250 wh/kg are already existing and from a quite long time. My company is producing them and already available . The battery has been tested and validated and passed all the safety test requested by international regulation.

· · 5 years ago

This is what I like to see! From their beginning, Tesla benefited from the battery advanced pushed by the mobile electronics industry. Getting automakers behind battery tech will drive the technology even faster.


Battery density is important. But so are cost/reliability/longevity... From your complete lack of details or reference, I assume that even if you do have such a battery, it is severely lacking in one of these other areas. If not, why wouldn't it be in an EV already, making a killing?

· · 5 years ago

186 miles ? Good old NiMH could do that now and with better discharge and less expensive BMS and greater longevity.

· · 5 years ago

An economical strategic target is 75 miles EV range in an EV equipped with a micro range extender. That 75 miles battery in real life means about 24 KWh, so the objective is getting that in a small package and at a low cost.

· · 5 years ago


Exactly! 24 kwh should be the minimum for a compact PHEV and
48 kwh for a large luxury SUV, Car, or Truck. I'd LOVE 75 miles all EV range. A 1 cylinder range extender would be ok for me in a compact, 2 cyl range extender in a large SUV, Car, or Truck. Plus a button so I can turn the thing on from the start if I know before hand that I'm going to be draining the battery all the way down.
In cold weather climates like Buffalo, I could turn the thing on, and recover the engine heat, and exhaust heat a la my '64 vw BUG, so that way in the wintertime I could have very high efficiency/ low cost operation. (cheaper than running an electric heater).
I know someone is going to tell me 48 kwh is impossible. I have 53 kwh in what is now a VERY ANCIENT designed Tesla Roadster, which is about the smallest car there is.

· · 5 years ago

250Wh/kg is about what the Panasonic cells in the Tesla Model S have. Let's hope this joint venture is aiming for 250Wh/kg at the fully assembled pack level.

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