At Bosch’s Stuttgart-Feuerbach based facility in Germany, the company has started volume production of its fuel cell power module. A Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck from the Nikola Corporation will be used as the pilot when the vehicle enters the North American market in Q3 of 2023.
“Here in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, in the plant whose history goes back further than any other Bosch plant, the hydrogen future is about to happen,” said Dr. Stefan Hartung, chairman of the board of management, Robert Bosch. “Bosch knows its way around hydrogen, and Bosch is growing with hydrogen.”
Operating along the entire hydrogen value chain, Bosch is continuing to work on the development of technology within the sector, and by 2030 the company plans to generate sales of approximately €5bn euros through hydrogen technology.
Bosch’s plant in Bamberg, Germany, will supply the Feuerbach factory with the fuel cell stack, while other components – including the electric air compressor and the recirculation blower – are supplied from the company’s plant in Homburg, Germany. Bosch will also produce the fuel cell power module in Chongqing, China, with components supplied by the Wuxi plant. The company also plans to manufacture stacks for mobile applications at its plant in Anderson, South Carolina, USA.
“Bosch is one of the very few companies that are capable of mass producing technology as complex as fuel-cell stacks,” explained Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of Bosch Mobility. “We don’t just have the required systems expertise, but also the capability of quickly scaling up new developments to mass production.”
Between 2021 and 2026, Bosch will invest approximately €2.5bn in the development and manufacturing of its hydrogen technologies. At present, the company has more than 3,000 people working on hydrogen technologies, with 50% based in Europe.
Hartung also outlined four of his demands for German and European policymakers.
“First, we have to step up the pace of hydrogen production in the EU. Second, global supply chains have to be set up, and third, hydrogen has to be used in all sectors of the economy.” For his fourth point, he stressed the importance of quickly setting up infrastructure for distributing hydrogen in Europe.
In addition to its fuel cell powertrain, Bosch is also working on the development of a hydrogen engine, evaluating systems for both port and direct injection of hydrogen. Bosch anticipates that the hydrogen engine will be launched at the beginning of 2024.