As Samsung and Bosch prepare to move forward with their joint venture to produce automotive grade lithium ion batteries, it's time to staff up the executive ranks. The latest is the appointment of a CEO for the North American branch of SB LiMotive. Reinhardt Peper will serve in the dual role of chief executive for both SB LiMotive and Cobasys, the U.S. battery maker that was recently purchased by the joint venture company. At some point in the future, it seems likely that Cobasys will simply be amalgamated into the newer company.

The 51-year-old Peper joined Bosch in 1984 after graduating from the University of Hamburg and has worked his way up through the ranks at that company. Peper's most recent assignment was as CEO of Bosch's Blaupunkt mobile audio unit. For now, the primary revenue generator in North America will be Cobasys, which is supplying nickel metal hydride battery packs for the two mode hybrid BMW ActiveHybrid X6 and Mercedes-Benz ML450 BlueHybrid SUVs. Going forward the newer company's lithium ion batteries are expected to take the lead. SB LiMotive was recently named to supply such packs for future plug-in models from BMW.

[Source: SB LiMotive]


Reinhardt Peper appointed new CEO of battery manufacturer SB LiMotive North America and Cobasys

Orion – SB LiMotive, the fifty-fifty joint venture company of Samsung SDI and Bosch, has appointed Reinhardt Peper (51) new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SB LiMotive North America and Cobasys LLC effective September 15, 2009. He succeeds Tom S. Neslage (57) who retired at the end of September. "We thank Tom for the good cooperation since our acquisition of Cobasys and we are pleased to have Reinhard Peper, an experienced successor who knows Bosch and the automotive industry as well as the enormous potential of SB LiMotive. He will contribute significantly to establish our battery technology for electric vehicles in the U.S. market," said Dr. Joachim Fetzer, Executive Vice President of SB LiMotive.

After graduating in business studies at the University of Hamburg, Reinhardt Peper started his professional life with Robert Bosch GmbH in 1984. There, he worked in different positions and sectors with growing responsibility. In 1993, he became director of materials management for Bosch's Automotive Aftermarket division with responsibility for global supply chain management. In 2000, he went to Bosch's regional organization in Great Britain and became a member of the board of Robert Bosch Ltd., responsible for finance. In 2004, he returned to Germany and took over as vice president for audio components of the Blaupunkt brand. Most recently, he was CEO of Blaupunkt with responsibility for finance as well as for marketing and sales in the original equipment business. Mr. Peper is married and has three children.

SB LiMotive aims to become one of the world's leading suppliers of lithium-ion cells and battery systems. Moreover, the company strives to make this technology available for standard use in hybrid and electric vehicles. SB LiMotive invests into its operations approximately $500 million until 2013. This year, the company moved into its new headquarters in Giheung and held its groundbreaking ceremony for the mass production of lithium-ion cells in Ulsan (both South Korea). SB LiMotive plans to get lithium-ion cells as energy storage for hybrid vehicles into series production by 2011 and for electric vehicles by 2012. BMW is the first customer. The German automaker will install the battery cells in its first electric car which is currently being developed as part of the "Megacity Vehicle" project. The zero emission vehicles will go into series production in the first half of the next decade.

Out of 100 million newly produced vehicles in 2020, SB LiMotive expects to see approximately three million electric cars and plug-in hybrids as well as six million hybrid vehicles. A significant portion of this can be attributed to the North American automotive market. "With the acquisition of Cobasys in July 2009, SB LiMotive now has a footprint in North America. We will benefit from the know-how of our new associates and from the geographical proximity to potential U.S. customers in order to sustainably develop the electrification of the powertrain in North America with our technology as well," said Reinhardt Peper, CEO of SB LiMotive North America and Cobasys. For the time being, Cobasys will continue to develop, manufacture and market nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) for use in hybrid vehicles. Currently, series production for NiMH batteries in two hybrid models by German premium auto manufacturers is ramping-up. However, SB LiMotive is convinced that the lithium-ion battery technology will be the preferred energy storage for the electric drives of the future for the mid to long term. When compared to the nickel-metal hydride technology that has been used to date, lithium-ion technology provides improved power density. Moreover, thanks to a high nominal voltage, it also has a higher energy density. As a result, lithium-ion technology makes it possible to drive significantly longer distances without increased weight. Other benefits of lithium-ion batteries include high cycle durability and a longer lifetime, as well as extremely low self-discharge.

The joint venture SB LiMotive was founded in September 2008. It bundles the know-how of both its parent companies Samsung SDI and Bosch. Samsung SDI brings extensive large-scale series production experience into the partnership, as well as manufacturing competence in the area of lithium-ion cell production. Moreover, the company is an innovation and development leader in the realm of lithium-ion technology. The company already produces a wide range of lithium-ion batteries for use in laptops, cell phones, and power tools. For its part, Bosch can contribute its comprehensive systems competence when it comes to integrating lithium-ion technology in the overall concept of the automobile. In its business unit for hybrid and electric drives, Bosch has comprehensive know-how in the areas of power electronics, electric motors, transmissions, and DC/DC converters. Some years ago, moreover, Bosch was the first power- tool manufacturer to successfully integrate lithium-ion batteries.

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