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US: Bosch to invest $200M in fuel cell production

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For the purpose of producing fuel cell stacks that will power hydrogen-powered electric commercial vehicles in the US, Bosch will invest more than $200 million in its South Carolina manufacturing facility.

Bosch plans to invest more than $1 billion globally to advance fuel cell technologies by 2024, which includes the South Carolina project.

In order to support the clean room and climate-controlled settings necessary for quality-critical procedures, the campus will get capital improvements that include allocating around 147,000 square feet of floor space for the production of the fuel cell stack, according to the business.

The factory is anticipated to start manufacturing fuel cells in 2026. According to the German car supplier, 350 additional employment will be created.

A variation of Nikola’s Tre electric semi-truck, which is anticipated to enter production by the end of 2023, will be powered by Bosch’s fuel cells, the company stated. Bosch said last year that it will provide the Nikola with hydrogen fuel cell modules. Bosch committed at least $100 million to the Nikola in 2019.

Fuel cell technology is being used more widely in the sector thanks to the company’s investment in them for heavy-duty trucks and commercial vehicles. Fuel cells are pricey devices that turn hydrogen gas into energy. However, because they are more compact and lightweight than battery packs, they are regarded as being particularly promising in Class 8 trucks and other large commercial vehicles.

According to Bosch’s president of North America, Mike Mansuetti, “the hydrogen economy offers immense potential and at Bosch, we are all in.” As part of a flexible approach to powertrain technology, Bosch is announcing its first fuel-cell-related manufacturing in the United States to meet the rising demand from local customers.

In and of itself, hydrogen is not an energy source. Since it functions primarily as an energy transporter, it pairs well with renewable energy sources produced by the weather, such as sun, and wind.

And not all hydrogen is created equally. Steam-methane reforming, a process that relies heavily on fossil fuels, is used to manufacture around 95% of the hydrogen utilized today. Electrolysis, a procedure that separates hydrogen and oxygen using electricity, is used to create a fraction.

Even less hydrogen is produced with renewable energy. Businesses like Bosch believe that “green hydrogen” offers the best chance of lowering the carbon footprint of commercial trucks.

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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