Climate action for road transport calls for a broad technology offensive. Commercial vehicles in particular have a wide variety of requirements when it comes to powertrain solutions, as the CO2 emissions differ greatly depending on driving profile, payload, and driving distance. While light vehicles tend to drive shorter distances, for example on downtown delivery routes, heavy-duty trucks transport goods and merchandise over long distances. To meet EU requirements, CO2 emissions need to be cut dramatically in both light commercial vehicles and heavy trucks by 2030. Bosch hopes to play a role in realizing climate-neutral transportation for all vehicle classes. To this end, the company is developing a range of efficient powertrains, from combustion engines and battery-electric models to fuel cells.
It’s hard to imagine city streets without delivery vehicles, tradespeople, and other small-scale businesses , especially given the steadily rising demand for goods and services. That is why society needs pioneering powertrains that put as little strain as possible on residents and the environment. Bosch’s eCityTruck powertrain solutions allow for low-noise driving with zero local emissions. Together, they form a compact module made up of the e-axle, which combines the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission in a compact unit, and an electric drive module without the transmission. Both solutions are easy to integrate and can be scaled for light commercial vehicles up to 7.5 tons. Depending on the battery design, they enable ranges of up to 200 kilometers, meaning that most delivery routes of less than 80 kilometers a day are easily covered on a single charge.
Bosch is driving forward the electrification of commercial vehicles outside the city limits as well. For instance, the company offers eRegioTruck powertrain solutions for medium- and heavy-duty trucks as well as for city and long-distance buses, and special use cases. The powertrain concept plays a critical role in making regional traffic within a radius of some 250 kilometers as economical and efficient as possible – not only that, it does it with low noise and zero local emissions. An electric motor, inverter, and vehicle control unit are all part of this systems solution. Depending on the topology, the compact electric motor can come as a separate electrical unit in combination with a transmission, or as an active component integrated into a rigid axle.
In addition, Bosch is currently examining the technical issues regarding the use of hydrogen in combustion engines and is looking into the marketability of this technology. The engine technologies available today and existing vehicle architectures already form a solid basis for developing this approach. If the hydrogen used comes from renewable sources, then the fuel cell’s operation is climate-neutral. Bosch offers various solutions for mobile fuel-cell systems that address customer requirements around the world: for the stack as the core of the design, the individual components in the submodules, or the overall system for commercial vehicles.
Thanks to their compact design, the solutions are easy to integrate into existing vehicle platforms. Bosch is currently working with the startup Powercell to develop the stack and make it market-ready. The plan is to begin the large-scale manufacture of fuel-cell stacks in 2022 and launch the complete fuel-cell system – the Bosch fuel cell power module – in 2023. In addition, Bosch is currently working with other companies as part of the EU-funded H2Haul project to build a small fleet of fuel-cell trucks and put them on the road.