Gasoline engine

The fuel cell-electric drive: renewable energy for long distances

As fuel cells’ local emissions only consist of water, they have tremendous potential to shape future mobility. The performance of fuel cells is particularly impressive for long-distance driving. Journeys are carbon-neutral when hydrogen generated from renewable energy is used.

Bosch’s mobile fuel cell – with Achim Moritz

Achim Moritz

The transport sector accounts for an enormous share of global CO2 emissions. By 2030, these emissions are set to be reduced by 30% among newly registered vehicles. Yet it is unlikely that these targets will be met with battery-electric drive systems alone.

And that is where the strengths of the fuel cell come into play. Achim Moritz outlines why a technology such as the fuel cell can effect a lasting transformation in the transport sector and which huge advantages the system brings people and the environment.

Facts and figures on fuel cells

Only water

is emitted locally

With the right amount of hydrogen in the tank,

ranges of over 500 km

are no problem for cars, while even over 1,000 km can be covered by commercial vehicles

Over 1,000 km

can be covered with the right amount of hydrogen in the tank


a few minutes

are needed to fill up a vehicle equipped with a fuel cell

Fuel cell-electric drive

Operating principle and structure of the fuel cell-electric drive

The fuel cell-electric drive is divided into four subsystems for air, hydrogen, coolant, and high-voltage components. In the air subsystem, the electric air compressor supplies oxygen and conveys this into the cathode. In the hydrogen subsystem, the supply of H2 from the hydrogen gas injector is controlled and provided in the anode. The anode recirculation blower promotes the circulation of hydrogen in the anode path. The fuel-cell stack is where all of the subsystems come together. It is here that the drive’s energy is created.

All of the subsystems in the fuel cell-electric drive are perfectly coordinated to achieve the very best performance.

Strength in diversity: Bosch’s fuel cell portfolio

Bosch’s fuel cell portfolio

Diverse requirements call for diverse solutions, which is precisely why Bosch’s portfolio for fuel cell-electric vehicles is so wide. The centerpiece is the fuel-cell stack with a gross output of up to 132 kW. This is accompanied by further components that convey the respective media.

Bosch can offer solutions for an innovative fuel-cell concept to meet any requirement – from individual components and modules to an all-in-one system for commercial vehicles.

The fuel-cell stack: a plurality of possibilities

Gasoline port fuel injection

A single fuel cell does not generate enough energy to power a vehicle. This is where the stack, which combines multiple fuel cells arranged in series, comes into play. In each of these cells, the energy from the chemical reaction between the continuously fed hydrogen and airborne oxygen is converted into electricity. Bosch has joined forces with PowerCell Sweden AB to get the technology based on PowerCell’s S3 stack ready for production.

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Further products

Fuel-cell control units

Fuel-cell control units

The ECU controls the fuel-cell system’s operation, including subsystems like the hydrogen supply, air system, and thermal system.

Electric air compressor

Electric air compressor

The electric air compressor draws ambient air in and makes it available to the system at the appropriate pressure.

Anode recirculation blower

Anode recirculation blower

The anode recirculation blower promotes water separation and the circulation of hydrogen in the fuel-cell system’s anode path.

Hydrogen gas injector

Hydrogen gas injector

This injector meters the quantity of hydrogen for the stack and has a shut-off function to separate the medium-pressure stage from the stack.

Hot-film air-flow meter

Hot-film air-flow meter

The hot-film air-flow meter supplies the air management system with precise data on the air flow and characteristics.

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