just-auto.com

AN CONGRESS: Rare materials scarcity to prompt rethink: Bosch

By Simon Warburton | 30 June 2011

Bosch says the current slight drop in raw earth material prices needs to be treated with caution as the global economy gradually emerges from the economic downturn and EV demand rises.

Addressing Automotive News Europe's Congress in Cologne today (30 June), Bosch board member Peter Tyroller added costs would start to rise as world economies recovered, particularly Japan.

"Raw material prices are linked to economic growth," said Tyroller. "Currently they are going down a little, but this will not continue as the economy recovers, especially Japan definitely next year.

"When you think about electrification, demand is increasing heavily. China has reduced the export of rare materials by 9%. Today China is supplying 99% of rare earth material and we need to be careful - we need to think about new concepts of how to treat raw materials. We need to recycle rare earth material - it is really necessary otherwise our dependency is getting too high."

Continuing his battery theme - part of which urged greater adoption of lithium ion battery recycling - Tyroller added Bosch wanted to be "a major player" in a sector already brimming with competition.

"It will be a battlefield to be honest," he said. "Investment in battery technology is huge and there are not a lot of companies who can just burn money.

"I am sure we will be part of it [batteries].