Bosch to set up China JV to make electric motors for scooters image

Automotive parts supplier Robert Bosch GmbH announced that it plans to establish a joint venture with Chinese company Ningbo Polaris Technology to manufacture wheel hub motors for electric scooters.

The German company will hold a majority share in the venture, but further details about the deal are being kept secret.

Bosch chose Ningbo as the Chinese company is already making motors for electric scooters under the Poltm brand. Ningbo sold 1 million motors last year, with the company benefitting from the expansion of the global market for electric scooters. In 2011, 27 million electric scooters were sold worldwide, with a staggering 98 percent of those being made in China.

According to Udo Wolz, president of Bosch’s electrical drives division, global sales of electric scooters are expected to rise to 46 million units in 2020. Bosch is No. 1 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers, with estimated worldwide parts sales to automakers of $39.75 billion last year.

The deal is expected to help boost Bosch’s involvement into a new market segment of electrically powered 2-wheel scooters and also to develop competences in the growing wheel-hub motor segment, the world’s biggest selling motor application for electrical vehicles.