Bosch investing $200M in Anderson, hiring 350.

Date31 August 2022

Bosch will invest more than $200 million into its Anderson campus to create the manufacturing capacity to build hydrogen fuel cell stacks that power big trucks. It means at least 350 new jobs by the time production begins in 2026.

Fuel cells utilize hydrogen to produce electricity onboard the vehicle through a chemical process, without combustion. FCEVs are zero-emission vehicles, according to the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association. They produce no tailpipe pollution except water vapor. In addition, compared to internal combustion vehicles, FCEVs greatly reduce greenhouse gas carbon emissions even when accounting for the full hydrogen fuel life cycle.

If that sounds like the future, it is, says Christian Kolzem, senior vice president and technical plant manager for Bosch.

"It is absolutely the future," Kolzem said, adding that the switch to electrification is a worldwide trend, with fuel cells part of the mix. "Hydrogen is one of the solutions. The entire electrification is battery applications and it's the future. Bosch estimates based on current knowledge that 20% of the entire Electrification 2030 [an electrification goal by many carmakers] will be based on the fuel cell. We see applications, we work closely together with Nikola, we see other applications that are coming into the market. So we are absolutely convinced that this is the right technology we are banking on."

Bosch today announced that the Anderson plant will produce stacks, the heart of a fuel cell power module that will propel Class 8 trucks tractor-trailers, dump trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles.

The kind of batteries used now in most EVs are not practical for Class 8 vehicles because of the size and weight, as well as the time required to recharge. Bosch says fuel cells are so far the only way to make electric big rigs viable. Even passenger EVs require hours to go from empty to full charge, but refilling a hydrogen tank works much like filling a diesel tank and can be done in a few minutes, Kolzem said.

Hydrogen fuel cell development also has the international momentum to be successful, he said.

"The technology is taking off right now, not just in the U.S. with Nikola but it's also taking off in Germany" and China, Kolzem said. "So it's not just a little clip that's happening in one single country."

The Bosch Anderson facility has already begun work on the expansion to support fuel cell technology. A new building is not necessary because the company bought a...

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