FRANKFURT Aug 28 Auto parts maker Robert Bosch
has bought Seeo Inc, a California-based company that
has developed next-generation lithium-ion batteries that could
double the range of electric cars.
Electric vehicles have failed to take off with mainstream
customers because current battery technology limits the
operating range of vehicles to below 500 kilometres (311 miles),
and because vehicles take hours to fully recharge.
According to a filing with the state of California, Seeo's
battery technology may help to increase energy density by 50 to
100 percent, which could significantly increase the operating
range of an electric vehicle.
Hayward, California-based Seeo has an exclusive license to
core patents from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that
could help Bosch produce lightweight batteries on an industrial
Seeo's advanced lithium polymer cells have an energy density
of 350 watt-hours per kilogram, roughly twice the level of
batteries used in today's electric vehicles.
Traditional battery packs use electrochemical energy storage
and become less safe or reliable the more powerful they are, to
the point where the battery may catch fire.
Because Seeo batteries are based on non-reactive solid
polymer electrolytes, they are less prone to the flaws that
beset current-generation cylindrical and prismatic lithium-ion
The transaction closed in mid-August and financial details
have not been disclosed, a spokesman for Bosch said on Friday.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor and Eric Auchard; Editing by Keith