Detroit – German supplier Bosch is expanding its electric vehicle and fuel cell business while continuing to invest in traditional technologies, with the goal of maintaining its position as the world’s largest supplier to the automotive industry. is.
Paul Thomas, executive vice president of Bosch North America, told the Automotive News Congress on Monday that the company has invested $6 billion in electric vehicle and fuel cell technology so far this year. But Thomas said the company has no intention of abandoning some of its core products, such as fuel injectors, brakes and fuel system components, as it transitions to EVs and other alternative technologies.
“We want to participate in all industries as much as we can,” said Thomas.
Thomas also said Bosch will continue to support legacy products, and some surveys show that consumers have owned their cars for more than 12 years than ever before. “Cars have been in the world for a long time,” he said.
Bullish on fuel cells
According to Thomas, Bosch sees great potential for hydrogen fuel cells to replace diesel powertrains in some heavy-duty trucks, especially fleet operators. The company recently began retraining employees at one of its U.S. plants, which previously made diesel engine parts, to make fuel cell parts instead.
Fuel cells use gaseous hydrogen at high pressure to produce electricity through chemical processes within the fuel cell stack. That electricity powers the electric motors that drive the wheels of the vehicle.
“Moving to 1-ton and 2-ton trucks, Class 6 and Class 7, [vehicles], we see applicability. It depends on what the fleet will be used for, long or short haul,” Thomas said.i believe in density [fuel] Vehicle range is an opportunity for the industry. ”
Mr. Thomas said Bosch has changed its business strategy with the emergence of new technologies. Partnering with other companies is critical to its success, he said. This is primarily due to the large capital requirements to develop new components and bring them to market with Bosch’s established quality, as well as the specialized skills other companies possess.
“As we start this transformation, capital is becoming more important,” he said. “As we evolve … the industry needs to come together and partnerships show that investing together makes sense.”
One of the guardrails Bosch uses when deciding to invest in new products with new partners is whether it makes sense for the company. For example, Bosch has decided not to produce battery cells for his EVs, but will invest in the products needed for his battery packs, including power electronics, cooling and heating systems and other components, Thomas said. increase.
“We looked at the technology and decided we wanted to help how to make batteries better, how to make them better and put them in better packs. It’s a decision we made.