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Expecting explosive growth, Bosch beefs up hybrid team

Automotive News reports on Bosch and the future of hybrid technology.

Automotive News

Automotive News

MUNICH -- The head of Robert Bosch GmbH's new electric vehicle and hybrid technology unit expects big growth in the coming years.

"The arrival of new hybrid products in the market is happening very fast," Wolf-Henning Scheider told Automotive News Europe. "We have enhanced our team year-by-year to be ready."

The unit was formed Jan. 1 to develop and market modular hybrid and electric-drive systems. Expertise for the unit had been pooled in a hybrid project unit set up in 2004, Scheider says.

Already, the 400-person unit is working on several hybrid projects, developing electric motors and the electronics for electric vehicles and hybrids.

During the next five years, Bosch plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on the new business unit, says Scheider, who remains Bosch's president of gasoline systems.

He plans to add staff. He declined to give a specific number but agreed that 200 people could be added if Bosch continues to win projects.

In 2008, Bosch hired nearly 100 people specializing in hybrid technology.

Also last year, Bosch became a core partner for PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's development of diesel hybrid technology. Bosch, the world's largest supplier, will co-develop and supply electric motors and power electronics for PSA's four-wheel-drive diesel-hybrid powertrain.

The PSA hybrid architecture has an electric motor driving the rear axle while the diesel engine drives the front wheels. PSA's first models with the technology are scheduled to launch in 2011.

Bosch also is working on a parallel-hybrid system for the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne scheduled to hit roads next year.

Bosch's new hybrid unit has headquarters in Germany, with branches in North America, China and Japan.

(Source: Automotive News)