Bosch hydrogen engine tech-powered truck to be on Indian roads this year

The global supplier of technology and services is betting big on both electromobility and hydrogen. While announcing the company’s 2023 earnings, chairman Stefan Hartung said a hydrogen-powered truck with Bosch technology will be on Indian roads in 2024.

By Ajit Dalvi & Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 18 Apr 2024 Views icon4935 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The Bosch Group, which announced its sales and earnings for CY2023 yesterday, is successfully implementing its growth strategy. In the past business year, Bosch generated sales of 91.6 billion euros despite unfavourable economic and market conditions, an increase of 3.8 percent, or an exchange rate-adjusted 8.0 percent.

In its core mobility business, the global supplier of technology and services is betting big on both electromobility and hydrogen and pushing forward with strategic decisions for future growth. This year alone, it is launching some 30 production projects for electric vehicles.

“Electromobility is coming; the only question is how quickly it will arrive in the various regions of the world,” said chairman Dr Stefan Hartung. “We estimate that 70 percent of all new cars in Europe will likely be purely electric by 2030. That figure will likely be 40 to 50 percent in China and North America.”

Targeting hydrogen tech sales worth 5 billion euros by 2030
Bosch has reaffirmed its business expectations in the growth area of hydrogen. By 2030, its sales with hydrogen technology could reach 5 billion euros.

“In 2023, we launched production of fuel-cell systems in Stuttgart, Germany, and Chongqing, China,” said Dr Hartung. China will likely be the leading market for the time being; Bosch does not expect to see major growth in Europe or North America until the next decade. From a technical point of view, hydrogen engines represent the fastest path to climate-neutral commercial-vehicle transportation. Bosch expects the market for this technology to be worth almost a billion euros by 2030.

Dr. Stefan Hartung. “In the future, Bosch will be synonymous not only with hydrogen powertrains, but also with hydrogen production. As a supplier, we will actively help shape the future market.”

As the Bosch chairman explained: “A hydrogen engine featuring our injection technology will be on the road in India as early as this year, and we’re already working on five production orders from well-known truck manufacturers from all three of the world’s major economic regions.”

In an interview to Autocar Professional in October 2023, Guruprasad Mudlapur, president of the Bosch Group in India and MD of Bosch Ltd, spoke about the potential of hydrogen to power commercial vehicles in India. “We should look at hydrogen in the contest of how we can bring in higher levels of green fuel into our mobility sector, how we can gain a lot more energy independence in India because this is a fuel which can be totally and locally produced. The government of India has put a lot of focus on this and the Hydrogen Energy Mission is coordinating action around hydrogen. Over the last couple of year, a lot of OEMs and eco-system players (like us) have come together to make things happen."

Guruprasad Mudlapur continued, "We believe hydrogen as an energy source for the mobility world will primarily be in heavy CVs and long-haul trucks, where it provides an excellent TCO advantage compared to diesel. We already have pilots running in our campus, and we have several pilots running with our OEM partners who are also experimenting and testing it out. We will have a BS VI hydrogen truck coming out as a pilot next year (in 2024). The technology is in a good maturity phase and by 2030 we expect between 10% to 15% of the HCV parc to be running on hydrogen in India.”

Bosch is keen to participate in the rapidly growing market for hydrogen production: by 2030, there will be a good 170 gigawatts of installed capacity for hydrogen electrolysis worldwide – around 25 times as much as today. “Our electrolysis stack is on course for market entry next year,” said Bosch chairman Stefan Hartung. “In the future, Bosch will be synonymous not only with hydrogen powertrains, but also with hydrogen production. As a supplier, we will actively help shape the future market.”

To power vehicles, hydrogen can be used not only in fuel cells, but in hydrogen engines as well. They are particularly suitable for heavy vehicles driving for protracted periods with especially heavy payloads – for long-haul freight and especially for construction and agricultural machinery. The engines and powertrains already available are a good basis for this, as many of the systems components in existing powertrain solutions can be transferred to the fundamental structure of the fuel, air-supply, and exhaust system.

To power vehicles, hydrogen can be used not only in fuel cells but in hydrogen engines as well. They are particularly suitable for heavy vehicles driving for protracted periods with especially heavy payloads.

Bosch: an early mover in fuel-cell tech
Bosch, which is H2 ready, has been an early mover in areas such as the development of fuel-cell technology. Along the entire hydrogen value chain, the company is developing technologies for the production, compression, storage, and use of hydrogen. At the Bosch Tech Day 2023, the company provided some insights into its portfolio of products and services.

Bosch is developing two systems for hydrogen engines: port and direct injection of hydrogen. The injector for direct injection has to function without the lubrication provided by liquid fuel, and to open and close reliably roughly one billion times over a truck’s service life. Apart from water, the only relevant waste product emitted by a hydrogen engine is nitrogen oxide. Using proven exhaust-gas treatment systems, this has no appreciable effect on air quality. The first production vehicles equipped with these engines are expected to appear on the roads in 2024.

At Bosch Tech Day 2023, the company showcased the Iveco Heavy Duty FCEV (fuel cell-electric vehicle) for the European market. With its fuel cell-electric powertrain, and in combination with green hydrogen, it emits zero emissions locally. With a payload of roughly 70 kilograms of hydrogen, the truck can drive up to 800 kilometres without refueling.

Images: courtesy Bosch

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