Bosch wants to supply “as many Chinese vehicle manufacturers as possible” with fuel cell systems. To this end, the company has allied itself with a Chinese partner. It’s about a billion dollar market.
Dhe automotive supplier Bosch wants to help the fuel cell achieve a global breakthrough and has joined forces with a partner in China, the world’s largest vehicle market. The expectation is great: The joint venture Bosch Hydrogen Powertrain Systems wants to “supply all Chinese vehicle manufacturers with fuel cell systems as far as possible,” says a message from Bosch.
Even if the business is still a dream of the future, it is about a billion-dollar market. As early as 2030, more than a million vehicles with fuel cell drives could be registered in China, according to a forecast by the China Society of Automotive Engineers, on which Bosch cites.
Bosch’s partner in the Chinese fuel cell business is the Chongqing-based commercial vehicle manufacturer Qingling Motors, which will bring its experience to the Chinese market. China is the most important growth market for electromobility, says Bosch – and thus also for fuel cell technology, which drives electric motors with the help of hydrogen and thus makes them locally emission-free. “Especially with large, heavy vehicles that travel long distances, the fuel cell offers clear advantages over battery-electric drives,” says Stefan Hartung, the Bosch managing director responsible for the mobility division.
The Stuttgart-based group has been investing in this area for years. The fuel cell stack is being developed together with the Swedish specialist Powercell, and Bosch is planning large-scale production on its own from 2022. For the European market, the classic diesel locations in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, Bamberg and Homburg are geared towards the fuel cell business. Last year, Bosch set up a fuel cell center at the Wuxi site in China.
Now it is a matter of preparing the necessary manufacturing capacities, says Bosch. The market launch of the fuel cell system is planned for 2022/2023. A test fleet of 70 Qingling trucks with the Fuel Cell Power Module will be on the road in 2021.