Bosch is entering the market for mobile fuel cells for trucks and cars.
One crucial component of a fuel cell is the stack. As the core of the fuel cell, the stack converts hydrogen into electrical energy. To further improve and manufacture these stacks, Bosch has now formed an alliance with Powercell Sweden AB, the Swedish manufacturer of fuel-cell stacks.
Under the agreement, the two partners will work jointly to make the polymer-electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell ready for production. Bosch will then manufacture this technology under license for the global automotive market. The stack will complement the Bosch portfolio of fuel-cell components, and will roll out to the market by 2022 at the latest, the company says.
Fuel-cell technology for trucks and cars
Bosch believes the best opportunities for broad adoption of fuel-cell technology are in the commercial-vehicle market. The EU’s fleet requirements for trucks call for a reduction of CO2 emissions by 15 percent on average by 2025, and 30 percent by 2030. Bosch’s view is that this target can only be reached by electrifying more and more of the powertrain. The fuel cell can play a decisive role here.
Once they have become established in trucks, Bosch fuel-cell powertrains will then increasingly find their way into passenger cars, the company believes. But for this to happen, the cost of fuel-cell systems needs to be progressively reduced. The biggest cost item is the stack. It accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total cost of a fuel-cell system. “Through commercialization and widespread marketing of this technology, Bosch will achieve economies of scale and push down costs,” said Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector.