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How Bosch and IBM are using supercomputers to boost critical EV mineral supply

Bosch, a leading global auto parts and tech supplier is working with another technology giant, IBM, on a “strategic quantum computing” partnership. Through the arrangement, Bosch will join the IBM Quantum Network as experts from both teams investigate alternatives for critical minerals used to power electric vehicles.

One of the most significant factors holding back the electric vehicle rollout is the limited supply of critical earth minerals used in EV batteries and motors like lithium, cobalt, and nickel.

With the largest global economies all moving toward zero-emission electric vehicles, sales are only expected to accelerate in the next few years. Furthermore, the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act in the US outlines strict EV battery assembly and mineral sourcing requirements to qualify for the $7,500 tax credit. The question becomes, how can we fill the supply gap?

Most automakers are racing to sign supply agreements to ensure they have the materials to meet their targets. Meanwhile, companies like Li-Cycle and Nth Cycle are developing innovative ways to recycle and process battery minerals to ensure future supply.

Bosch and IBM are teaming up to take it a step further, using quantum supercomputers to simulate different models investigating which materials may have alternatives or at least partial substitutes.

Bosch taps IBM to boost electric vehicle minerals

After announcing it has converted a building previously used to build diesel powertrain components into an electric vehicle motor manufacturing space at its Charleston, South Carolina facility, Bosch aims to accelerate the EV rollout further with mineral alternatives.

Bosch will bring its experience in materials simulation and mass production, combining it with IBM’s quantum computing tech and knowledge of quantum algorithms.

The partners have already started working together by laying the foundations for advanced algorithms and workflows, therefore allowing for computer-generated material designs.

The Head of Bosch Research, Thomas Kropf, explains:

For Bosch, materials for applications in the fields of electromobility, renewable energies and sensor technology play a particularly prominent role here.

Developing alternatives to these materials needed to build electric vehicles can accelerate the rollout while keeping prices affordable.

Scott Crowder, VP of IBM Quantum Adoption and Business Development, adds:

Even simple models of real materials tend to quickly become intractable for classical computers to simulate. That’s why Bosch’s collaboration with IBM, as well as the extended IBM Quantum Network on quantum computing research is so important. We will work together on addressing a wide range of materials science problems, in the fields of electromobility, renewable energy and sensor technology.

Bosch’s CEO, Dr. Stefan Hartung, says the company is also interested in “new magnets for electric motors that are lighter, more compact, more efficient, and more readily available. Adding these new developments “promise to be more environmentally friendly than rare earths.”

Electrek’s Take

Bosch and IBM teaming up to develop alternatives for rare earth metals holds promise. Quantum computers are extremely powerful, utilizing a variety of algorithms to process extensive amounts of data in seconds.

Perhaps, more importantly, seeing two technology conglomerates combining their experience and knowledge to find solutions will help drive mass electric vehicle adoption.

If they can develop alternatives, it can promote lower EV costs by making it easier for automakers to obtain, opening up the market of buyers looking to for zero emission travel options.

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Avatar for Peter Johnson Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising