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Electric vehicles need technology to convert direct current to alternating current

Robert Bosch plans to acquire voltwerk electronics GmbH from Conergy in a move to strengthen its portfolio of products for the growing electric vehicle industry.

The German automotive supplier, the world's largest in terms of sales, said that, pending regulatory approval, voltwerk, a Germany-based maker of electronic components and software solutions for photovoltaic arrays, will become part of Bosch's newly formed Power Tec division.

Voltwerk makes mostly inverters, which are used to convert direct current to alternatiing current. Bosch expects that, as renewable energy and electromobility become more widespread, these inverters willbecome increasingly important.

"In acquiring voltwerk electronics, Bosch can enter the inverter market, as well as draw on a broad product portfolio ranging from 3 kW string inverters to 1400 kW central inverters,” saidVolkmar Denner, Bosch management board member for for research and advance engineering.

In electric vehicles, Bosch said, a conversion process is needed so an electric motor can use the direct current from the battery.Inverters are also needed when brake energy is regenerated and needs to be fed back into the battery.

Bosch Power Tec will start operations with photovoltaics but plans to expand into other areas.

Conergy, a Germany-based maker of solar energy systems,negotiated long-term access to voltwerk's inverter range as part of the transaction. The company said the sale is part of its strategy to reduce manufacturing depth and focus on its international sales and services business.