Bosch investing $200M in fuel cells for electric trucks
September 1, 2022
Bosch is investing $200 million to build fuel cells to be used for electric trucks.
On Wednesday, Bosch announced that it will produce fuel cell stacks in its Anderson, S.C., facility as part of a more than $200 million investment. According to a news release, the fuel cell stacks produced in the South Carolina facility “will drive hydrogen-powered trucks coming to the roads of the U.S. in the next few years.”
According to Bosch, several manufacturers have announced plans for hydrogen-powered vehicles in the United States, including Nikola. In fact, Nikola has been pilot-program testing prototype Class 8 fuel cell trucks using Bosch technology. The prototype trucks have logged more than 12,000 miles and hauled 2 million pounds of freight.
Nikola claims its Tre model has a range of 500 miles and refueling time up to 20 minutes, and produces 645 hp. Its Two model, which is expected to be available in 2024, will have a range of 900 miles, according to Nikola’s website.
Bosch points out that battery electric trucks continue to pose several challenges, including battery size and weight.
Range anxiety is another concern consumers have expressed regarding electric vehicles in general. Bosch claims that fuel cell technology makes “all-electric operation of large vehicles for long trips a reality.”
“The hydrogen economy holds great promise, and at Bosch we are all in,” Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America, said in a statement. “This is a significant milestone as we announce the first fuel-cell related production for Bosch in the U.S. to support the growing demand from our local customers as part of a diverse approach to powertrain technology.”
The Anderson facility has already begun work on the expansion to support fuel cell technology. Upgrades to the campus include an estimated 147,000 square feet of floor space to be developed to manufacture the fuel cell stack as well as supporting clean room and climate-controlled environments required for quality-critical processes.
The process to manufacture fuel cells is complex. According to Bosch, one stack consists of 3,200 individual parts assembled, more than 400 layers and more than 100 unique components. Fuel cell stack production in Anderson will expand on Bosch’s existing global production for fuel cell stacks, including critical sub-components. LL