Bosch, Daimler electric motor joint venture a bold move
In recent days, Robert Bosch GmbH and Daimler AG have announced a joint venture to develop electric motors for electric vehicles. Who will benefit most from this move? Is Daimler foolish to relinquish motor design to one of its suppliers?
I don’t think so: a joint venture mitigates the risk for the vehicle manufacturer – it retains control over the design and IP, but at the same time benefits from the expertise of a partner. Electric vehicle traction motor design needs significant expertise, as seen in the industrial sector, and a partnership of this nature is one way for a vehicle manufacturer to get the expertise it needs and advance the electric vehicle industry more quickly.
In fact, the coming years will almost certainly see further cooperation between OEMs and their system suppliers, and might also see new suppliers enter the market. Why? Because electric vehicles require significantly more semiconductor content per vehicle than ICE vehicles (the market value in electric vehicle powertrains alone is forecast to be nearly $1.5 billion by 2012). This is creating a ‘Once in a lifetime’ opportunity for non-automotive vendors to enter the market; bringing their expertise in motor control, inverter design, or battery management to bear.
This JV represents a bold move from Daimler and Bosch, and sets the tone for the rest of the automotive industry.