Bosch to invest $3 billion in hydrogen production

German industrial giant Bosch will invest almost $3 billion in hydrogen fuel cell technology from 2021 to 2026 and expects to generate roughly 5 billion in sales from it by 2030, according to the company.

The planned investment – 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) – is one billion euros more than earmarked in its previous investment plan for 2021-2024, the statement added.

Vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells, in which hydrogen mixes with oxygen to produce water and energy to power a battery, can refuel in minutes and have a much longer range than battery-electric vehicles, but infrastructure is lacking and it is less energy-efficient.

Bosch expects one in five new trucks weighing six metric tons or more would feature fuel-cell powertrains by 2030, it said.

“Bosch is growing with hydrogen,” CEO Stefan Hartung said. The company said production of its fuel cell power module – a fuel cell system generating electricity in vehicles from hydrogen, primarily used in commercial long-distance applications – has already begun in its Stuttgart-Feuerbach plant in Germany and in Chongqing, China.

Nikola Corporation will be the pilot customer of the modules made in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, with the Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck to enter the North American market in the third quarter of 2023.

The move comes as more players are set to enter the hydrogen transport sector soon: Daimler Truck plans to bring a hydrogen truck to market in the second half of the decade, forming a joint venture with Volvo to develop the zero-emissions technology.

Meanwhile, car manufacturer Stellantis said this year it would soon begin deliveries in Europe of its first medium-sized vans powered by hydrogen fuel cells.