Bosch bets on fuel-cell tech, inks pact with Ceres Power

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 21 Aug 2018


German Tier 1 major, Bosch is pressing ahead with the development of fuel-cell technology for potential new power systems. Together with the UK-based technology specialist Ceres Power, it wants to develop the next stage of solid-oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) technology, Bosch also plans to take a 4 percent equity stake in Ceres Power.

The two companies inked a collaboration and license agreement for further development of the technology, and establishment of small-volume production operations at Bosch, as well as a share purchase agreement on August 20, 2018.

Ceres Power is a leading player in the development of next-generation SOFC technology. It aims to commercialise its technology through mass production with partners, and to use this technology for grid-based and distributed power generation. The intention is that SOFC systems will be used in cities, factories, and data centres, and also as a power supply for charging points for electric vehicles.

Targeting high efficiency and lower emissions
“Bosch believes that the highly efficient fuel cell, with its very low emissions, has an important role to play in energy systems’ security of supply and flexibility,” said Dr Stefan Hartung, the Bosch management board member whose responsibilities include the Energy and Building Technology business sector. “Fuel-cell technology will bring the move to alternative energy a step closer, and we will be working on this with our development partner Ceres Power.”

The company says with urbanisation on the increase, fuel-cell technology has a crucial role to play in securing power supplies. The company estimates by 2050, it is expected that more than 6 billion people worldwide – 70 percent of the global population – will live in cities. Even now, the world’s metropolises account for 75 percent of the energy consumed worldwide. By 2035, global energy consumption will have increased 30 percent.

In the future, meeting this increased demand for electricity solely with large, centralised power stations will not be possible.

Phil Caldwell, CEO, Ceres Power, said: “The vision for our partnership with Bosch is to set a new industry standard for solid-oxide fuel cells, leading to widespread adoption in distributed power supplies. By combining Ceres’ unique Steel Cell technology with Bosch’s engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain strength we will establish a strong partnership that can make our technology even more competitive and prepare it for mass production.”