High Gas Prices, Drive Development of Alternative Cars

June 18, 2008 / 1 Comment

There’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be a better way. Repeat after me. There’s got to be a better way. At least two more ‘better ways’ have taken a step forward in the past couple of days.

samsung bosch partnership High Gas Prices, Drive Development of Alternative Cars

Germany’s Robert Bosch GmbH has agreed to work with South Korea’s Samsung SDI Co to develop the next-generation batteries for hybrid cars. Bosch is the world’s top parts maker and Samsung is, um, Samsung. In 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 sell them to GM, Ford Motor, Hyundai and any other takers.

In short, they will spend the next five years chasing Toyota and Nissan. Toyota is working with Matsushita Electric and Nissan has formed a partnership with NEC Corp.

The goal – bring down the costs of the hybrid car battery and in turn bring down the overall costs of the more eco-friendly cars. Presently hybrids go for as much as $5000 more than their gasoline counterparts, they are better on the environment but not the wallets of consumers. That’ll change.

Meanwhile, Honda Motor Co is even farther ahead with the launch of the Clarity hydrogen-fueled car for lease in the United States.

Source: Nikkei (sub req)