Denner: "Connected electric cars are better." (Photo: Robert Bosch)

Low oil prices won't lead to a slowdown in the pace of automotive electrification, Robert Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said at a conference. The German supplier is sticking to its forecast that roughly 15 pc of all new cars sold worldwide will have at least a hybrid powertrain by 2025.

The Bosch CEO, speaking at the annual Car Symposium in Bochum, Germany, also predicted that battery technology, one of the big issues in electrification, will improve to the point that, by 2020, batteries will deliver twice as much energy density at half of today's cost. Battery capacity is important because it largely determines how far a car can travel before having to recharge.

Bosch, whose automotive business relies heavily on components and systems for traditional gasoline and diesel engines, is betting that electrification will complement, rather than replace combustion engines. "Electrification will take combustion engines to new heights," Denner said, adding that hybrid powertrains will boost fuel efficiency as well as driving pleasure.

The Bosch CEO said electric mobility will be greatly enhanced by the internet of things, which will help make recharging easier. Bosch is marketing an app in Germany that lets EV drivers reserve a charging spot and pay for the electricity with different providers. Said Denner: "Electric cars are good, but connected electric cars are even better."