Comtrans 2021 exhibitor Bosch and Qingling Motors cooperate on fuel cells for Chinese truck market


The German automotive supplier Bosch and the Chinese premium commercial vehicle manufacturer Qingling Motors established a joint venture in China, named Bosch Hydrogen Powertrain Systems (Chongqing) Co. Ltd.

The new company will develop, produce and market fuel cell systems – so-called Fuel Cell Power Modules – in China. The aim is to provide all Chinese vehicle manufacturers with fuel cell systems. According to the Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicle Technology Roadmap 2.0 by the China Society of Automotive Engineers (China-SAE), more than one million vehicles with fuel cell drive systems could be registered in China by 2030.

Market launch is scheduled for late 2022 – early 2023. The necessary components, such as the fuel cell stack, air compressor with power electronics, and control unit with sensors, will be supplied by Bosch, mainly from the plant in Wuxi, where small-scale production will begin this year. In addition, a test fleet of 70 Qingling trucks, which are equipped with a Bosch fuel cell power module, will hit the road in the next months.

“We are now literally picking up speed in the industrialization of the fuel cell. Innovative technologies and strategic partnerships are the ideal fuel for rapidly achieving the goal of making road traffic as climate-neutral as possible,” says Stefan Hartung, Bosch board of management member and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. According to Du Weidong, Chairman of the Board of Qingling Motors, the recent cooperation represents a milestone on the path to the industrialization of the mobile fuel cell and a significant contribution to the further development of the Chinese automotive industry.

Bosch has been working with Qingling in China in the areas of fuel injection and the exhaust-gas treatment for many years. In the joint venture framework, both companies want to combine their technological and market expertise. On the part of Bosch, it is all about development of fuel cell systems. In turn, Qingling will share its commercial vehicle know-how as well as many years of experience in the national commercial vehicle market.

“China is the most important growth market for electromobility,” says Hartung. “Especially for large, heavy vehicles that travel long distances, the fuel cell offers clear advantages over the battery-electric powertrain.”

Bosch has set up development and application competences for its fuel cell in China. Last year, the fuel cell center in Wuxi was built. The company will now increase its manufacturing capacities for the components which will also be supplied to the joint venture. At the same time, Bosch is working on the industrialization of the fuel cell at its German plants in Bamberg, Feuerbach and Homburg.

Together with the Swedish Powercell, the company is currently developing the fuel cell stack to be market ready. A large-scale production on its own will start from 2022 onwards, so the company plans.

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