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“To really push the build-up of the hydrogen economy ahead, we need to send a clear message”

Bosch is expanding its product portfolio for mobile hydrogen applications through a cooperation with the Italian technology company OMB Saleri. Find out in an interview with Dr Wilfried Kölscheid, Senior Vice President - Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) at Bosch, what exactly is involved and why hydrogen plays such an important role in achieving climate protection targets.

Bosch is expanding its product portfolio for mobile hydrogen applications by cooperating with Italian technology firm OMB Saleri. What’s that all about?


Bosch is investing heavily in fuel cell technology. To expand our portfolio in mobile applications beyond the drive module and its components, we set up a development partnership with OMB Saleri at the end of 2021. That already enables us now to offer components for H2 tank systems, like tank valves and pressure regulators, and we’re also working together to get the technology ready for large-scale mass production.

Source: Bosch expands its hydrogen portfolio

Bosch plans to invest heavily in research and development for a fuel-cell-based electric drive. What’s special about that drive, and when can we expect mass production of a fuel-cell vehicle?

We have indeed expanded our investments in mobile fuel cells again, for a total of almost a billion euros from 2021 to 2024. Bosch’s strong points lie in industrialising innovative products and in its global development and production network. Just as with conventional drives, our components and systems stand out for their high levels of technical maturity and efficiency.

Our technology already completed more than 100,000 kilometres of test drives in 2021, in prototypes in China. The Bamberg plant will start making fuel cell stacks at the end of this year. Then we’ll begin assembling the complete fuel cell system in Stuttgart in 2023. But it’s our customers who will have to decide when the vehicles actually get onto the road.
Source: New energy for sustainability – with technology from Bosch

Bosch is also planning to get into the components business for electrolysers. How far has that advanced by this point, and what goals are you pursuing?

Bosch will be making stacks – the heart of the electrolysers – at a high-volume production facility. We’ll also be adding high-quality components from the automotive sector to the stack, like the controller, power electronics and sensors, so we can offer our customers a “smart module”. We expect the first prototypes for a simple scale-up in electrolyser applications in 2024. To make hydrogen production highly efficient while at the same time improving important KPIs like service life, the smart module will be networked via the Cloud.

Dr Kölscheid, you’ll be taking part in a panel discussion on “Hydrogen – Hype or engine for a sustainable future?” at HYDROGEN DIALOGUE. How important are discussions like that in advancing the hydrogen economy?

To really push the build-up of the hydrogen economy ahead, we need to send a clear message about what a big contribution we can make towards achieving climate protection goals if we apply innovative technology to generate and use hydrogen. What’s important to me is that we should achieve sustainability in the economic sense as well, and use innovative ideas to build up a profitable business sector for the future in Germany.

HYDROGEN DIALOGUE is growing more and more international, and will now also be held for the first time in person. What do you hope to take home from Nuremberg?

I think discussion among those in the field, the exchange of best practices and recommendations for action among all stakeholders, has great potential for the successful development and expansion of hydrogen as a second relevant component of the future energy supply, alongside renewables. HYDROGEN DIALOGUE offers not just an opportunity for discussion about technologies, but a chance to shape these matters further in collaboration with science, business and government. And I always look forward to the unexpected ideas that emerge!

Many thanks for the interview

Save the Date!

The fourth HYDROGEN DIALOGUE – Summit & Expo will be held at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg on 22-23 November 2023.

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