Bosch's Place in the EV Market
Feb. 17, 2021—More than 18 million electric vehicles are projected to reach U.S. roads in less than 10 years.
The Edison Electric Institute estimates that it will take more than nine million charge ports to support that many vehicles, but few automakers seem to be addressing it.
Bosch is tackling this hurdle and more with products that directly serve EV drivers and EV repairers.
ADAPT talked with Bosch’s Product Manager, Jeff Hudnut, and Product Marketing Manager, Scott McKinney, to learn more about the company’s products and the challenges they have faced taking on the industry’s new frontier.
Hudnut said Bosch has been investing in electric vehicle technology for the past 10 years.
“The writing is on the wall, the industry is quickly switching to EVs,” Hudnut said. That’s why he and his co-workers at Bosch have been working closely with original equipment manufacturers, like Ford, to develop equipment dedicated to the proper usage and repair of electric vehicles.
What’s the big deal?
If you’re a regular ADAPT reader, then you know the most common type of battery powering electric vehicles is a lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries are known for their fast charging rates, long shelf life, and significant cost. But electric vehicles and ICE vehicles have even less in common than their batteries.
McKinney said EVs use higher levels of technology, such as advanced driver assistance systems that require more attention than those found on traditional ICE vehicles.
Due to the nature of these high-voltage vehicles, they can also be dangerous to work with if a technician has not received the proper training. Hudnut said specialized safety equipment is also needed to safely work on electric vehicles.
Bosch’s Product Focus
When EVs were first introduced, Hudnut said there was a lack of charging options available, so a large portion of their focus was given to electric vehicle charging, including from the home.
When it comes to repairing electric vehicles, McKinney said Bosch has found a market with advanced driver assistance systems and safety products.
“We are designing the systems themselves, but we are also working on the recalibration side,” McKinney said, referencing Bosch’s recent partnership with Hunter Engineering.
The two companies recently teamed up to develop an alignment system that can be used to position targets for the proper calibration of advanced driver assistance systems.
Just announced this month, Bosch also partnered with Mitchell to create a computer-based target system for calibrations.
Hudnut said one of the main challenges Bosch has faced when taking on electric vehicles, has been dispelling fear.
“The industry as a whole struggled with misconceptions,” he said. “But we are working together to educate people.”
Bosch has created an entire website dedicated to educating consumers about electric vehicles, with sections like “incentives” and “service and support.”
Hudnut said the company has published informative blog posts explaining what to expect when driving an EV, owning an EV, the associated costs, and so on.
“Many customers are hesitant to jump into it,” he said.
Some consumers have been hesitant to install charging stations in their homes, for fear of higher electricity costs or an increased fire risk.
“But the technology is very robust, it’s safe, and it’s low cost,” he said.
Image: Bosch's DAS 3000