Bosch has announced AMPShare, a “shared battery system that lets you run many tools from many pro brands with just one battery.”
They advertise: “Many brands. Many tools. One battery system: AMPShare: A new era has begun.”
Does this mean they’re launching a new universal pro cordless power tool system?
No. It turns out, this is just their 18V cordless system alliance, revamped with new “founding brands” and a fresh name.
One battery system? Oh, no. There’s AMPShare, formerly their 18V Professional System Powered by Bosch, and their separate Power for All 18V Alliance.
It seems that AMPShare is just the new name of their 18V cordless power system alliance, and with a few new partners.
More than two years ago, Bosch promised there would be many brands, many tools, one battery system.
Back in 2020, Bosch had only partnered with a couple of tool brands.
Now, they have many more partnering brands.
Looking at the list of partnered tool brands, I have more questions than there seem to be answers right now.
Fein has their own 18V cordless power tool system. What happens now? Is Fein switching over to Bosch’s 18V cordless power tool system exclusively?
What does this mean for existing Fein cordless power tool users?
A reader (thank you Matt!) wrote in about Bosch marketing materials that were sent to him as a customer in the UK. Matt wrote:
The interesting thing to me is that they listed one of the included manufacturers as Rothenberger who make plumbing tools – Rothenberger are part of Metabo’s competing “Cordless Alliance System” of 18V battery sharing, and indeed all of the tools on their website show Metabo-style batteries. As far as I’m aware Bosch and Metabo are not compatible…
That’s right, Rothenberger is part of Metabo’s CAS cordless power tool battery system.
On their website, Rothenberger seems to be all-in with the Metabo CAS platform. How will AMPShare impact this?
Rothenberger is still promoting CAS system cordless power tools and equipment on their website
Rothenberger even touted the maximum compatibility of the CAS system with their recently launched cordless press tool.
Rothenberger is (was?) a CAS system partner. Now it’s a Bosch 18V pro system – AMPShare – partner? I’m sorry – they’re not a partner, it turns out they’re the “second founding member of AMPShare.”
What about their existing tools? What about existing tool users who bought Rothenberger’s CAS system tools? Does this mean existing users will have to buy into AMPShare, a completely incompatible system, when the brand launches new tools or technologies?
Rothenberger shared news about their AMPShare involvement on social media, but it doesn’t look like they answered any of their users or followers’ questions yet.
The Metabo-powered Cordless Alliance System, not to be confused with Bosch’s revamped cordless alliance, mentions Fischer, a fastening company, as a member.
But now Fischer is a Bosch AMPShare member? Does this mean they will be replacing their CAS system-compatible products?
Many brands, such as Mafell, are NOT participating in Bosch’s AMPShare project.
Metabo’s CAS system – “The battery pack for your trade.”
AMPShare – “the 18V battery system you can build on.”
“Battery alliances” have potential, but not when they’re inconsistent and confusing like this.
Professional, tradespeople, and consumer tool users want batteries they can use with ANY brand or alliance cordless power tool.
Barring that, how about some consistency?
If you’re interested, following is Bosch’s full 16+ minute announcement, where executives announce the “new” AMPShare alliance, which is basically the 18VPro alliance with revamped branding.
There are interesting parts to it, but for me the “new era” simply looks to create more questions than solutions.
This has to be directed at the international market. My only thought was, “Why is this more important than Bosch bringing a wider selection of their own tools to the US?”
They seem to be wasting a large amount of time on marketing with no substance here in the States.
Potential EU mandate maybe. CAS and Powershare merge to one. Seems likely and to be fair I’ve wondered for a long time how many of those companies were co-related somewhere.
I could see the EU requiring something like that or nudge that way. For example – if you want any government contracts after 2025 you must make your tools conform to the ___________________ standard. such that the EU body doesn’t want to maintain alot of various options.
Odd thought but that’s what my head went to.
It’s not such an odd thought, even if me thinking the same thing may not be the best way to support that notion.
“The great thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from” is how the joke goes, so after years of micro USB giving way to USB-C, then I needed an iPhone for work… even so, it could be so much worse without the “stifling regulation” that ended years of companies doing less to innovate than to serve themselves.
We can hope that industry does more to get its act together and more interoperability becomes possible. I sure would hope that they’re learning what not to do from the folks who have been giving us USB and HDMI versions that nobody understands. USB 3.2 giving way to USB4… 2.0
Champs, i read somewhere that apple pays a hefty price (i could have sworn it was tens of millions of dollars) to stay with the lightning connector in the EU.
I really thought that this new iPhone 14 would have gotten rid of the charging port now that they have 2 generations using magsafe.
Nathan, that is not an odd thought, but long term the smart money. Talking to employees in tool stores and engineers in Europe most think it’s only a matter of time before the EU mandates one interchangeable tool battery standard. There is a strong Green push to reduce planned obsolescence. Another driver is it’s easier to design for recyclability if there are less designs. This is the same Green push that mandated unachievable pollution diesel standards that caused VW to “cheat” and also mandates recyclable %s for cars. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, just that in EU it has a lot of force, though going cold this upcoming winter may dampen it. One has to spend time in Western Europe to see how engrained it has become. EU is a very large market, comparable to the USA. If/when this interchangeable battery standard is mandated in the EU groups in the US will say, “why not here?” If someone is dubious of that logic look at how California is banning (in practicality) 2 cycle engines and then the purchasing of internal combustion engine cars by 2035. Manufacturers will note the size of the combined California and similar leaning states market and may likely build (only) to that.
The money is in the batteries
Totally off topic, please forgive me.
Delete if necessary.
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Eventually the band-aid will have to be ripped off. Make a single battery system for every tool and it works take about a year because everyone got over it. It would have to be, “at this point every tool will have to be able to use the same battery standard”. Eventually as tools break they get deals on new tools with the new system. Within five years only the old curmudgeons who refused to move from DeWalts 18v to 20v or Milwaukees 28v to 18v will still be on forums complaining.
But nothing will happen until either Milwaukee, DeWalt, or to a lesser extent Makita, get on board.
This is going to be a VHS vs Beta.
As far as Milwaukee, Dewalt and Makita, if any 2 get on board, and possibly add smaller players…Hoover Cordless vacs, Ingersoll Rand, or Lincoln Grease guns to name some. If it caught on, could grow quickly because of the 2 major players (in NA). who ever the 3rd was would probably be forced to cave at some point and join in.
Makita have the market sewn up. 1 battery and an incredible array of products that use it, and they sell charger-less and battery-less versions of their products in retail.
“But nothing will happen until either Milwaukee, DeWalt, or to a lesser extent Makita, get on board”.
TTI and SBD have been unwilling on merging their own brands’ batteries for over a decade, let alone get on board with 3rd.
For one, I applaud what Bosch is doing, although it is mostly irrelevant in NA. But it seems most the brands that have joined their alliance are strong on different markets than Bosch, so they complement each other rather than competing with each other.
It works for Bosch because they don’t own 3-4 brands with different price brackets that would otherwise cannibalize if they used the same battery.
looks like Rothenberger has left the Cordless Alliance System.
Thank you! Interesting.
Left or was booted from it?
I think this type of standardization is great, be it on the pro-end perhaps. I think it is a change for the better. Because to me, it is a bit ridiculous that we have brands rolling under the same umbrella, but we go out of the way with different notches, slides, etc to prevent users from using a battery from the same family. Same tools, with older, newer, weaker, stronger, brushless … motors, extra feature here or there … different color, but most importantly: different slide pack connector. About the only one that could get a pass is Ryobi that would implode if they dropped the stem pack.
Maybe Bosch USA can start bringing more 12v tools over? 😉
The idea is great, in theory. But to me it seems like this system is a lot like Metabo’s “CAS”: there’s really only one big player on either system. Bosch in the case of “Ampshare”, Metabo in the case of “CAS”. The rest of the companies on the system are all smaller or specialty oriented. For those companies this makes a lot of sense: they know well that they’d have a hard time getting people to buy their proprietary batteries that don’t work on anything else, but if they can piggyback onto a big name like Metabo or Bosch and use their batteries then they have a much better chance of selling their tools. This could be good for some professional users who use trade-specific specialty tools from those companies, but it’s not that useful for the average DIYer. The average DIYer or contractor, even in Europe, has no need for most of those specialty brands. For a “universal” battery platform to be really useful for most users it would need to encompass more than one of the big brands, and getting the likes of Dewalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, Makita, Metabo, etc, to agree on a standard? Not likely.
This is a perfect example of how SBD’s marketing sucks.
They could have spun the usage of DeWalt batteries by other platforms into a “global battery alliance”.
“Dewalt is driving innovation by partnering with a wide range of tool manufacturers to operate under one battery technology. Today’s partners of Klein, Facom, Graco, Mac, Reed, and more, allow everyone to do what they need with just one battery.”
(Don’t mention that Facom and Mac are SBD brands.)
Then, thrown some marketing dollars at it, and you might get other specialized brands that want to latch on to the coop funds and have their icon on the wall, too. Maybe offset that with a licensing fee, or write it off because you’ll get people to buy into your tool system even if you don’t provide all the necessary tools.
p.s. I like using the Klein impact driver a lot, and the linesman impact wrench/ratchet is no slouch but I’ve been using it for steelwork purposes mostly.
I think Ampshare and CAS are win-win situations for the strongest players (in this case Bosch and Metabo, respectively).
It works because the small players leverage battery development, production and distribution to the big players.
What do the big players get? A more attractive, bigger portfolio and more battery sales. They may not get revenue for eg, a Rothenberger vacuum pump but if a customer sees a bigger, more attractive lineup working on the same battery platform, they will be more likely to join or stick with that platform.
I really wish we had more approaches like this available in North America. There are some niche tools made by Graco and Klein that utilize the Dewalt 20V max battery platform, but there hasn’t been any growth beyond that in quite some time. It’s better for the consumer and allows brands that don’t have the resources to invest in a full-scale battery platform to still provide cordless tools that fill a market need. SBD, TTI, Bosch, Makita, Metabo, etc. can’t be an expert in every possible tool, so why not let the manufacturers that excel in certain categories or applications focus on the tool while they provide the battery know-how and a broad platform aimed at the most common tools and applications.
I suspect it is not the same as “Power for All” – you see, Bosch actually has two incompatible battery system – the “Home” (Green) system in Europe and the “Pro” (Blue) system.
“Power For All” was for the green (home) with Gardena as the major partner, and also involves Bosch vacuum cleaners (a different division in Bosch called B.S.H.). Gardena’s “Power For All” tools are already in the market, at least in Europe.
AMPShare seems to be about the Blue system – Bosch professional. Here Fein fits well, as it has only to win from selling specific tools to professionals having the far wider spread Bosch tool system.