It appears that over in Europe, Bosch has struck deals and is now introducing new cordless power tool battery alliances.
At this time, there appears to be two distinct systems – Bosch 18V will power a new 18V Professional System Powered by Bosch product family, and their consumer/DIY platform will be at the heart of a new Power for All 18V Alliance.
As a reminder, this is all in regard to Bosch’s activities and marketing in Europe. No announcements have been made in regard to what Bosch might due in North America.
Let’s rewind things a bit.
Do you remember Klein Tools launching a new “powered by Dewalt” line of cordless power tools? This seems to be the same type of deal.
Metabo is also at the center of a Cordless Alliance System in Europe, where their cordless power tool battery is compatible with different brands’ tools.
Surebonder makes a cordless hot glue gun that is powered by Ryobi’s 18V cordless power tool battery system.
There are lots of these types of products sprinkled throughout the market.
Now, Bosch is ramping up efforts, gaining more brand partners and actively marketing the new system compatibilities.
18V Professional System, Powered by Bosch
In their promo video, Bosch says that countless more tools from other expert brands will soon be compatible with their 18V Li-ion cordless power tool batteries.
Over 60 million batteries have been sold, and in this slide a Bosch 18V battery sports the new “system” branding.
Bosch’s emphasis that theirs is the trusted system to build on suggests that there’s some competition brewing. Might this have to do with the increased visibility of the Metabo-centered Cordless Alliance System?
The new system is said to deliver maximum flexibility to users.
Here’s a look at the brands on-board so far:
- Cox (a Sulzer Brand)
- Lena Lighting
- LED Lenser
There’s no mistaking that Bosch will be at the center of things.
One Battery System.
While it sounds exciting and promising, how will this be different from before? We’re going to have to see where this goes.
Power for All Alliance
There will also be a separate Power for All Alliance, also powered by Bosch, focused on DIYer and consumer tools.
The focus here will be on flexibility around the home.
One battery for all your home [tool needs].
At this time, here are the participating brands:
- Bosch Home & Garden
- Bosch Home Appliances
- GLORIA House and Garden
- Emmaljunga epowered by Bosch
Gardena, Wagner, and Rapid products are said to be available as of 2021.
In addition to tools from these brands including traditional DIYer home and garden cordless power tools, Wagner makes paint sprayers, Rapid is known for hot air and riveting tools, and Emmaljunga and Bosch collaborated on an electric baby stroller. Bosch household vacuums are also in the mix of brand specialities.
Bosch describes the new Power for All 18V Alliance as one of the largest cross-brand 18V battery systems.
Bosch’s DIYer “green” tools sport similar Power for All 12V branding, but this appears to be Bosch branded. At this time, it appears that only the 18V battery system is at the heart of the new Power for All Alliance.
Okay, so there’s a new 18V Professional System that builds upon Bosch’s 18V cordless power tool system, and a Power for All 18V Alliance that builds upon Bosch’s European “green” DIYer tool system and adds in other tools and equipment “for your home.”
There are quite a few brands that have existing industry collaborations, and it seems that this number is increasing.
Dewalt’s 20V Max system powers Mac cordless power tools – which makes sense since Mac is also a Stanley Black & Decker brand – but also Klein cordless power tools and a Graco cordless sprayer. There could be other collaborations and cooperative efforts. Dewalt FlexVolt batteries power a collection of Amkus rescue tools.
This makes sense, doesn’t it? Why should traditional corded tool makers build R&D teams to compete with cordless brands, or cordless brands build R&D teams to dive into new product categories, when they could work together. Combining tool know-how with battery system know-how, and everyone wins.
Which cordless power tool brand makes for the best collaborators and partners?
With the emergence of these two new Bosch-powered cordless alliances, and the suggestion of new brands already signed-on and working towards 2021 tool launches, we might be seeing the start of new competition.
Presently, Bosch and Metabo are at the heart of their respective alliances, and the more brands that sign on, the more enticing it will be. C’mon, join the family.
An alliance-powered tool kit could feature Bosch construction tools, a Wagner paint sprayer, and an LED Lenser worklight. Bosch doesn’t have to attempt to market a competing paint sprayer, Wagner doesn’t have to develop their own proprietary battery interface, and LED Lenser applies their existing know-how to develop or co-develop a product that will gain more exposure due its battery compatibility.
It remains to be seen how these new alliances develop, and also if they come to North America. If anything, the Bosch 18V Professional system stands a good chance of being introduced here.
Then, if these multi-brand-compatible systems do take off, how long until other brands actively seek out additional alliances and partnerships of their own?
If Dewalt feels any competitive pressure, I’m sure they could whip up some marketing to highlight their existing brand relationships and solicit new relationships. Perhaps other brands will seek out similar dealings.
It’s going to take time to see what materializes from all this. Yes, it is certainly nice to be able to access the functionality of very different tools without having to buy into incompatible battery and charger systems. But how impactful will these alliances be, even with the current dozen or so brands signed on to participate in the two distinct systems?
Thank you to Hugo for writing in about this!
Bosch 18V Alliance Promo Videos