Bosch has announced it will invest 500 million euros (NZ$823 million) in developing components for hydrogen electrolysis, which should speed up adoption of green hydrogen in transport and other sectors.
The company wants to have electrolyser stacks in production by 2025, and expects the market for the components to reach 14 billion euros by 2030.
Each stack uses several hundred connected sells which each use electricity to split water into its hydrogen and oxygen components. ‘Green’ hydrogen means the electricity used to split the element is renewably sourced.
The hydrogen is then compressed into a tank before a fuel cell in a vehicle reverses the process – combining hydrogen and oxygen into water – which generates electricity for the motors.
Bosch CEO Stefan Hartung told Automotive News last week that the war in Ukraine has highlighted the urgency to develop new sources of energy, including hydrogen.
“Our concern is to secure energy supplies, with the price of oil and gas remaining at a very high level,” he said. “Green hydrogen is essential if we want to make our world carbon-neutral… Hydrogen can help to mitigate global warming in every sector.”
Bosch says hydrogen will first be adopted by long-haul trucks, something we’ve seen in New Zealand with Hyundai’s local introduction of Xcient hydrogen trucks.
Hyundai said last year that hydrogen technology is better suited than battery electric trucks as a heavy-duty, reliable, future cost-effective replacement for diesel trucks, as the use of hydrogen rather than weighty batteries means they have longer range, shorter refuelling time and greater payload.
Bosch’s hydrogen tech could make its way into passenger vehicles too, although the current focus is on heavier machinery.
Thomas Pauer, an executive vice president at Bosch, will lead the electrolyser endeavor. He doesn’t want to become a full powerplant supplier though, restricting Bosch to a component supplier only. “This is our core business.”
“We’re surprised by how strongly the market is growing,” Pauer added, considering investments in electrolysis had doubled in Europe in recent years. “The world is realising that we need a different energy source. I don’t think we can solve our energy issues without hydrogen.”