Bosch Developing Fuel Cell Drive for Heavy-Duty Trucks
Bosch is shifting the focus of its fuel cell drive to commercial vehicles for the time being. The drive is due to enter series production around 2022, after which Bosch plans to develop a fuel cell drive for passenger cars.
Given current battery technology, electric drives were not the go-to choice for supplier Bosch when it came to heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Their heavy weight, long charging times and limited range make them ill-suited to the job. In contrast, Bosch sees many advantages to using fuel cell drives. When the drive is powered by hydrogen produced from renewable sources, it offers a carbon-neutral way to transport goods. Bosch is planning to produce its own fuel cell drive in series from 2022/23.
According to the company, the CO2 levels of large, heavy-duty vehicles are better than those with purely electric drives if you factor in the CO2 emissions produced during production, operation and disposal. The high energy density, storage possibilities and rapid refuelling are also beneficial: "Fuel cells are the first choice for transporting larger loads for many kilometres every day," explains Dr Uwe Gackstatter, President of the Bosch Powertrain Solutions division. What's more, the Hydrogen Council estimates that the hydrogen economy could become competitive in the next ten years.