Bosch now wants to roll out China with the fuel cell

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.

Lastwagen am Containerhafen in Qingdao in China

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.