Ready for some fighting words? (Literally?) Automotive supplier Bosch is gearing up to "battle" other companies for contracts to provide lithium-ion batteries to automakers for future plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. Bosch board member for sales and marketing Peter Tyroller told Automotive News Europe that Bosch is one of only a handful of corporations that can afford to heavily invest in li-ion battery tech, even though the company knows that the payback period will be long.

The German parts supplier made its first major investment in li-ion batteries back in 2008 when it formed SB LiMotive, a 50-50 joint venture with Samsung. SB LiMotive says that in order to crank out batteries for 180,000 electric vehicles a year by 2015, it will significantly boost output at its plant in South Korea.

SB LiMotive's near-term battery-related deals work out like this: the SB LiMotive-powered BMW ActiveE will launch in late 2011. Then, in 2012, the electrified Fiat 500, sporting SB LiMotive batteries, will hit dealerships. In 2013, another SB LiMotive-powered BMW, the Megacity i3, will make its debut. Beyond that? We don't yet know what SB LiMotive's future holds but we're pretty sure the fight plan is being drawn up as we speak.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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