Bosch bets on hydrogen combustion at CES 2024

Bosch bets on hydrogen combustion at CES 2024

January 16, 2024 5 By John Max

Though there haven’t been many headlines about the technology lately, it has not been forgotten.

Hydrogen combustion engines had been making news quite regularly for a while but mainly dropped out of headlines over the last while as many companies focused on fuel cell or even electric vehicle technologies. That said, Bosch brought the subject back into the conversation with enthusiasm at CES 2024 last week.

Despite how far electric passenger vehicles have overtaken fuel cell cars, there remains other promising H2 tech.

As automakers have focused their H2 efforts on fuel cells, comparatively very few have placed any attention or resources on developing hydrogen combustion engines. With the announcement at CES 2024, however, it is clear that Bosch believes that there is a future in this technology and that it will play an important role alongside electric vehicles in the zero-emission transportation ecosystem.

The German supplier giant focused on this alternative way of using H2 as a low-carbon transportation option, as opposed to using it in fuel cells for zero-emission operations. According to the company, its tech is very close to being carbon neutral when it is powered by green H2 (made using electrolysis powered by renewable electricity) and provides an experience to drivers that is very similar to the internal combustion engines powered by gasoline that they’re already used to.

The hydrogen combustion engine isn’t just talk, as Bosch intends to unveil one later this year.

“The company is also working on components for a hydrogen engine, which converts fuel directly into energy without first converting it into electricity,” announced Bosch in a statement. “When powered by green hydrogen, this engine is practically carbon neutral.”

hydrogen combustion engines - Logo of Bosch

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The company explained that it doesn’t imagine a future in which drivers will be choosing this technology instead of electric vehicles. Instead, it will be one of many options including electric vehicles, and that drivers will be able to choose what works best for them.

Existing technology

hydrogen news ebookThough Bosch intends to take its own direction with hydrogen combustion engines, the technology itself already exists. In fact, BMW built a demonstration fleet of 7-Series sedans about two decades ago using engines modified to run on H2.

Naturally, technology has changed quite a bit – and has become much cleaner – since that time, and Bosch plans to have a very modern take on how this type of hydrogen combustion engine will look.

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