Bosch/Samsung Chasing Toyota, Nissan
Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH is the largest parts maker in the world.
Samsung is, um, Samsung.
Bosch has agreed to work together with South Korea's Samsung SDI Co to develop the next-generation batteries for hybrid cars.
The arrangement is a 50-50 joint venture. The two giants will spend some $500 million over the next five years to improve on the lithium ion battery for hybrids, then try to sell them to GM, Ford Motor, Hyundai and any other takers.
To make a long story short, they will spend the next five years chasing Toyota which is working with Matsushita Electric and Nissan which has formed a partnership with NEC Corp. Five years from now, my bet is Toyota will have the next-next generation battery.
The goal is to bring down the costs of the hybrid cars battery and in turn bring down the overall costs of the more eco-friendly cars. Hybrids go for as much as $5000 more than their gasoline counterparts. The cars are better on the environment but not the wallets of consumers. Consumers don't mind changing the world, they just don't want to pay for it themselves.
And in the meantime, Honda Motor Co is even farther ahead with the launch of the Clarity hydrogen-fueled car which is now on lease in the United States.