Bosch Bets Big On Electrification And Hydrogen

    Bosch Presents New Technologies At CES 2024 In Las Vegas

    At CES 2024 in Las Vegas, German engineering and technology company, Bosch, presented technology and applications to drive a sustainable future. According to Bosch, global energy consumption has doubled in the past 50 years — and continues to grow by around 2% each year. Fossil fuels currently account for some 80% of global energy consumption. In view of climate change, this is a major challenge. “To help us meet our future global energy needs in a more resource-efficient way, we at Bosch are rethinking energy use and focusing on a two-pronged approach: electrification and hydrogen,” said Tanja Rückert, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, at CES 2024. “For a low-emissions future, we are optimizing the use of traditional energy sources by driving forward electrification in mobility, commercial buildings, and homes. And we are tapping into new, sustainable energy sources — with hydrogen playing a central role.”


    Electrification is already well advanced, particularly in the mobility sector. Bosch is a supplier along the entire electromobility value chain — from chips, e-axles, and electric motors to battery technology, charging stations, and numerous services. Bosch is presenting its automated valet charging concept at CES 2024. In a parking garage equipped with an automated valet parking system, electric cars featuring this new technology can drive themselves to an available parking space furnished with a charging spot. At the touch of a button on a smartphone, a robot charges the battery without any further human intervention. Once charging is complete, the vehicle maneuvers without a driver to another parking space, leaving the spot free for the next car.

    Bosch is focusing on the semiconductor material silicon carbide (SiC), a key component for electrified mobility. The ramp-up of electromobility worldwide is leading to enormous demand for these special semiconductors. Using highly complex processes it developed itself, Bosch has been producing SiC chips at its wafer fab in Reutlingen, Germany, since 2021, and is currently investing more than US$1.5 billion in a further wafer fab in Roseville, California. This move will strengthen the company’s international semiconductor manufacturing network. The aim is to start production of the first SiC chips in the United States by 2026, and in doing so, increase the company’s output tenfold in the years ahead. In electric cars, SiC chips extend driving range and make charging more efficient, as their energy losses are up to 50% lower. They also enable the car to travel further on a single battery charge — on average, range is up to 6% greater than with silicon-based chips.

    Heat Pumps

    Another Bosch highlight at CES 2024 is the IDS Ultra Heat Pump, which was developed specifically for colder climates in North America looking to switch from fossil fuel-based heating systems to electrified alternatives. Such a switch can not only save energy but also costs. The company is presenting its most efficient water heater to date, which is a hybrid of an electric storage water heater and a heat pump that is three to four times more efficient than traditional water heaters in the market. “With solutions like this, we are paving the way to an electrified home — and helping save costs and energy,” says Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America.

    Various new features in Bosch home appliances such as ovens, dryers, and washing machines are also playing their part in this transition. For some time now, it has been common for users to set the start time for their appliance using a timer function. Bosch is now going one step further and equipping its latest dishwashers with its “MySchedule” function for the first time. This can automatically schedule the start of the wash cycle to coincide with the periods when either the electricity price is lowest or green electricity is available.


    In addition to electrification, Bosch sees hydrogen as a key to meeting global energy demand in a resource-efficient way. As a storage medium, moreover, hydrogen can facilitate the efficient use of energy generated from renewable sources. Bosch is investing extensively in technologies along the hydrogen value chain. The focus is currently on the mobile fuel cell, which recently went into volume production in Stuttgart. This lies at the heart of the powertrain system for heavy vehicles. Bosch has already received its first orders from truck manufacturers in Europe, the United States, and China. The company is also working on components for a hydrogen engine, which converts fuel directly into energy without first converting it into electricity. When powered by green hydrogen, this engine is practically carbon neutral. The hydrogen engine is due to debut this year.

    Countries and industries around the world are investing in hydrogen technologies. The US government, for example, is pushing ahead with the development of hydrogen infrastructure and investing US$ 7 billion in the construction of hydrogen hubs. “The hydrogen hubs are an important building block for establishing a hydrogen infrastructure. We at Bosch support these measures and are exploring participation in several of these hubs. Our goal is to help drive forward the clean-energy economy in North America. This is an area where we can contribute our expertise in the production and provisioning of hydrogen,” said Mansuetti.


    Across all its divisions, Bosch is focusing on the use of software and digitalization. The company now has more than 44,000 associates working in software development. In Las Vegas, Bosch is presenting new products and solutions together with its strategic partner Amazon Web Services. These include a connected, fully automatic espresso machine, which will also be possible to control from the car using voice assistance such as Alexa, and a point-of-interest assistant, which uses an interior camera in the vehicle to recognize which restaurant or café the driver is looking at based on their eye movements. The voice assistance then informs the driver in real time and completely automatically whether the restaurant is open and has a free table available.

    Bosch is also presenting two new mobility services at the electronics trade fair: Usage Certificate To Go and Vehicle Health Service. The first is an addition to Bosch’s already established Battery in the Cloud services. The feature analyzes battery data, determines the battery’s condition, and helps extend its service life by up to 20% through optimization. The second service, aimed at fleet operators, offers features designed above all to prevent vehicle breakdowns.

    Bosch is taking a similar approach in the building sector: The company offers digital services to achieve efficiency gains, such as the “Nexospace Energy Manager” for the European market. This helps customers analyze their energy supply and usage and develop specific measures to optimize and reduce consumption. This was the case with the international supermarket chain REWE, for example, which was able to reduce consumption by up to 20% in more than 2000 stores with the help of the “Nexospace Energy Manager.” Meanwhile, in manufacturing, Bosch services can help save considerable amounts of carbon dioxide by increasing efficiency. Decarbonize Industries, an AI-supported software-based service developed by Bosch together with a partner, helps manufacturing companies reduce their carbon footprint.