Global automotive supplier Bosch is heavily investing in hydrogen fuel cells as a crucial solution for decarbonizing transportation. The company recently showcased its investments during a visit by North American truck and automotive journalists to its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. Bosch believes that hydrogen will be favored over other alternatives in certain use cases and that multiple technologies, including electrified powertrains with batteries and hydrogen internal combustion engines, will play a role in achieving zero-emissions targets.
Bosch has positioned itself within the entire hydrogen value chain. It produces hydrogen fuel cells for heavy trucks and has licensed the production of these cells to Nikola in North America. Additionally, Bosch is developing electrolysis stack and components for electrolyzers used to produce hydrogen. The company has also entered the water purification business to produce hydrogen without relying on drinking water. Its containerized system, set to go into production in 2024, can purify saltwater or other unclean sources for hydrogen production.
Looking ahead, Bosch’s PEM electrolysis stack is currently being developed and will enter production by 2026. The electrolysis market is anticipated to experience significant growth driven by the pursuit of green mobility. China is leading the world in hydrogen fueling stations, with an expected increase from 280 to 5,000 by 2030. In the North American market, Bosch plans to build fuel cell stacks in South Carolina starting in 2026. The company has also developed a recycling process that can recover 95% of the platinum in the units, significantly reducing CO2 emissions from platinum mining.
Bosch predicts that by 2030, one in five heavy-duty trucks in the United States will run on hydrogen fuel. This would require approximately 1,000 hydrogen fueling stations nationwide. Bosch’s fuel cell stack production stands out due to its use of over 1,200 meters of welds in each stack, ensuring it is hydrogen-tight. In Europe, Bosch is already supplying Iveco heavy-duty trucks with hydrogen fuel cells capable of traveling up to 800 km between fueling stops.