Nikola Resurrection Solely Tip Of Bosch Inexperienced Hydrogen Scheme

The well-known German agency Robert Bosch GmbH raised eyebrows when it detailed a crew of engineers to assist the US startup Nikola Motors launch a brand new, improved model of its Nikola Tre gasoline cell electrical lengthy haul truck. That was only a teaser. On July 13, Bosch devoted its complete Tech Day 2023 to put out its gasoline cell plans for the longer term, going far and extensive with a give attention to inexperienced hydrogen.

CleanTechnica is attending Bosch Tech Day 2023 in Stuttgart, Germany as a visitor of the corporate. We previewed Bosch’s new renewable H2 water therapy system earlier this week and on-the-spot reporting will comply with.

Bosch & Nikola Pursue Hydrogen Gas Cell Dream Truck

Bosch expertise has been enjoying a robust behind-the-scenes function within the electrical car business to cap an extended report of engineering innovation, so it’s no shock to search out the corporate taking a dive into hydrogen gasoline cells as properly (full CleanTechnica protection is right here).

The eyebrow-raising has extra to do with Nikola. The corporate bought off to a great begin when it launched in 2014 with a mission to zero out Class 8 heavy obligation truck emissions.

Nikola’s Tre gasoline cell truck mission was on monitor going into 2017, when phrase dropped that Nikola and Bosch would collectively develop the brand new powertrain utilizing Bosch’s scalable, modular all-in-one eAxle. The 2 corporations anticipated manufacturing by 2021.

A shakeup at Nikola reportedly shook the bloom off the rose in 2020, however the setback — if there was one — didn’t final lengthy.

In September of 2021, Nikola and Bosch introduced an settlement to maneuver ahead, with Nikola to construct Bosch gasoline cell energy modules at its manufacturing facility in Arizona for Nikola’s Class 7 and eight gasoline cell vehicles, starting with the Nikola Tre Class 8 truck at a variety of 500 miles after which introducing the Nikola Two Class 8 truck at 900 miles.

New Life For Nikola

Apparently all that arduous work has paid off. Bosch Tech Day 2023 began off with a press launch saying that Nikola is the pilot buyer for Bosch’s gasoline cell energy module, now in business manufacturing at its plant in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. The corporate additionally affirmed that Nikola expects to start manufacturing of the Tre Class 8 truck for the US market later this yr, someday throughout Q3.

Bosch has laid plans for its hydrogen-related companies to account for €5 billion by 2030, primarily based on the leverage of its present operations and data base. The corporate already has a head begin with a €2.5 billion plan for the years 2021 to 2026, representing 1 billion greater than initially deliberate for 2021-202.

“Bosch is likely one of the only a few corporations which can be able to mass producing expertise as complicated as fuel-cell stacks,” defined Markus Heyn, who’s a member of the Bosch board of administration and chairman of Bosch Mobility. “We don’t simply have the required programs experience, but in addition the aptitude of shortly scaling up new developments to mass manufacturing.”

Meaning gasoline cell vehicles, vehicles, and extra vehicles. Battery-electric vehicles have a head begin, however Bosch anticipates there can be loads of room out there for gasoline cell vehicles. The corporate anticipates 20% of recent heavy obligation vehicles (6 tons or extra) can be powered by gasoline cells within the coming years.

Bosch intends to lean totally on its German services to perform that, however plans are additionally within the works to supply the gasoline cell module in China.

The US is subsequent in line. Along with the continued work with Nikola, Bosch has electrical car plans within the works for South Carolina, which dovetail with its plans to supply silicon carbide semiconductors in California upon the acquisition of US chipmaker TSI Semiconductor. As we speak’s press launch affirmed that the South Carolina facility will manufacture gasoline cell stacks for electrical autos.

Inexperienced Hydrogen Economic system Will get Thumbs-Up From Bosch

The dream of a zero emission hydrogen economic system appeared like a local weather safety oxymoron just some years in the past, when fossil vitality — pure fuel and coal — had been the first sources for the worldwide hydrogen provide.

They nonetheless are, however new inexperienced hydrogen expertise is starting to push them apart. Biogas and different natural wastes are additionally in play, however the primary focus of investor exercise is on electrolysis programs that push hydrogen fuel from water, with the electrical energy sourced from wind, photo voltaic, or different renewables.

The all-renewables angle has earned water-produced hydrogen the title of “inexperienced” hydrogen. Hydrogen recycled from industrial sources might also have an element to play in local weather safety, however Bosch has dedicated to gasoline cell mobility on the coattails of inexperienced hydrogen.

“Bosch expertise begins with electrolysis and ends with the hydrogen engine,” the corporate emphasised, in case there’s any doubt. “Solely with hydrogen can there be a climate-neutral world. For Bosch, that’s crystal-clear. The corporate subsequently strongly advocates the institution of a hydrogen economic system.”

If there’s nonetheless any doubt, that might be one thing for the politicians to find out. “[T]he additional prospects for the hydrogen enterprise depend upon the political setting,” Bosch acknowledged.

Extra Inexperienced Hydrogen For The International Economic system

The Biden administration has staked $8 billion to launch regional hydrogen hubs all through the US, leveraging inexperienced hydrogen, recycled hydrogen, and even fossil hydrogen for anybody courageous sufficient to proceed carrying the torch for fossil vitality previous this summer season’s climate-induced warmth waves.

In consideration of competitors from the US and elsewhere, Bosch Tech Day underscored a quick however sharp message for coverage makers in Europe: Do extra.

In remarks earlier than the gathering, Bosch’s chairman of the board of administration, Dr. Stefan Hartung, demanded that coverage makers set the stage for stepping up hydrogen manufacturing and distribution within the EU, and cultivating world provide chains.

Hartung additionally advocated for deploying hydrogen as an all-purpose, economy-wide enter. In that regard, it’s value mentioning that hydrogen is greater than a gasoline for EVs and inside combustion engines. Fashionable industrial economies are already steeped in hydrogen that’s front-loaded with fossil vitality. By turning to inexperienced hydrogen, industrialized economies can decarbonize their fertilizer and meals processing sectors in addition to prescription drugs, metallurgy, refining, private care product and different ubiquitous actions.

Inexperienced Hydrogen Goes With Energy Vegetation, Too

The pathway from water electrolysis to gasoline cells is a two-way avenue. Gas cells generate water when the hydrogen gasoline interacts with ambient oxygen. Producing inexperienced hydrogen from an electrolysis system primarily works the identical course of in reverse, which explains why Bosch is inclined to pitch each electrolysis and gasoline cells below the identical roof.

They don’t seem to be letting any grass develop below their toes. Bosch set to work on proton trade membrane electrolysis programs earlier this yr. They count on to have 1.25-megawatt prototypes obtainable for pilot purposes in brief order in the direction of quantity manufacturing in 2025.

Apart from its use in cellular gasoline cells, inexperienced hydrogen is coming into use for stationary purposes. Bosch is contemplating new stable oxide gasoline cell expertise for stationary use, and has recognized a hospital in Germany as a candidate for its first gasoline cell micro energy plant.

Bosch can also be amongst these advocating for inexperienced hydrogen to switch fossil gasoline in inside combustion engines. That would ultimately dovetail with the electrofuels development, which CleanTechnica has noticed in motorsports. For the right here and now, although, Bosch is focusing in the marketplace for heavier-than-usual heavy obligation lengthy haul vehicles, the place additional juice is required.

Bosch expects its hydrogen engine to be prepared for manufacturing subsequent yr. That appears significantly bold, however as Bosch explains, “greater than 90 p.c of the event and manufacturing applied sciences wanted for it exist already.”

The massive query is whether or not or not an ample provide of inexperienced hydrogen can be obtainable. Bosch plans to run its stationary gasoline cell on pure fuel till the inexperienced hydrogen provide chain ramps up, and the identical technique could also be in play for its hydrogen engine.

By way of local weather safety that’s not an optimum answer, although a practical one. It’s additionally according to exercise within the fuel turbine market, the place producers are designing generators that may incorporate growing quantities of inexperienced hydrogen as provides turn into obtainable.

Talking of local weather safety, the deadline for significant motion is already heaving into view, alongside a harmful streak of pessimism. Corporations like Bosch assist beat again the doomsayers once they pivot their huge sources to decarbonization. The Bosch Group at present counts 470 totally different entities below the Robert Bosch GmbH umbrella unfold over 60 international locations. Throw in gross sales and repair companions, and the attain extends to virtually each nation on Earth.

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Photograph: Bosch engineers are working with Nikola to develop the following technology of gasoline cell electrical vehicles, with an emphasis on inexperienced hydrogen (courtesy of Bosch).


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