Bosch has increased its capital expenditure for mobile fuel cells and will increase it to more than £850million (€1billion) between 2021 and 2024. Production of fuel-cell powertrains for trucks is expected to start this year.
One expert predicted that by 2030, hydrogen-powered trucks will cost the same amount to operate as diesel trucks.
This signals a massive shift in how the automotive industry will look to shift to a net zero future alongside the Government.
Dr Markus Heyn, chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector, looked at how the industry will adapt to hydrogen.
He said: “All automakers are eager to secure the greatest possible share of the growing electric vehicle market.
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“The United Kingdom is a role model in this regard.
“There, new gas-fired boilers have to be hydrogen-ready as early as 2026.
“In early 2023, a large-scale field test involving 300 hydrogen heating systems will launch in Scotland, and one in every two of those will be a Bosch system.”
The UK’s hydrogen strategy stated that there are over 300 hydrogen vehicles on UK roads already, mostly made up of passenger cars and buses.
The Government is supporting hydrogen use in transport with a £23million Hydrogen for Transport Programme.
This will look to expand cleaner hydrogen options for the UK and will help the Government move towards a net zero future in 2050.
The strategy outlined that hydrogen would be used across a range of transport modes including HGVs and buses by 2030.
Throughout the 2020s, the Government is taking forward a programme of development and demonstration of hydrogen technologies across different transport modes, to support commercial readiness and create real-world learning about the opportunities and barriers for any larger scale rollout.
Dr Markus Heyn acknowledged the massive price pressures on all automotive businesses, and how it could bounce back.
He added: “The automotive industry is experiencing extremely high economic pressure. In percentage terms, automaker’s retail prices for new vehicles have increased on average by a high single-digit figure.
“The price of new electric cars, for example, has risen by just under eight percent in the past two months alone.
“And Bosch will also have to pass on to its customers the costs for raw materials, chips, and logistics – which have again risen considerably.”