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A Bosch-Samsung JV, SB LiMotive, builds lithium-ion cells such as this one (Photo: Bosch)

Robert Bosch plans to build a pilot production line in Eisenach, Germany, to research materials and production processes for future generations of lithium-ion batteries.

The automotive supplier said in a press release that it hopes to start producing the first trial samples in 2012.

Bosch is targeting annual production of 200,000 battery cells by 2015. First series production would be for marine applications.

Those applications would form "an effective complement to the activities that are pooled in Bosch's joint venture with Samsung SDI, SB LiMotive," Bosch said.

Chemicals group BASF is partnering with Bosch on the materials side, while German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp System Engineering has joined the project as a specialist for process plant engineering.

Bosch said it hopes the cooperation will foster a European supplier network for materials and production machinery.