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Bosch not abandoning internal combustion engines – yet

Despite the rise of electric power and increasingly challenging emissions targets, global automotive supplier Bosch is still investing in combustion-related technologies. 

Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board at Bosch, has explained that the company envisions a broad range of technologies being important for future sustainable mobility – including conventional petrol and diesel engines, as well as hydrogen fuel cells and hybrid powertrains.

Bosch is also committed to the development of renewable fuels that could make combustion engines carbon-neutral. More importantly, a renewable fuel would allow older vehicles to remain in service while contributing to CO2 reductions.

This would no doubt come as relief to many, given the prohibitive costs of advanced low- or zero-emission cars. 

“The path to emissions-free mobility must be technology-neutral. This is the only way to make mobility affordable for the general public,” said Denner, at a financial review in January. 

He called on policymakers to support such an approach so that useful and innovative solutions would not be discarded due to the technologies involved. As an additional benefit, a technology-neutral concept may help preserve existing jobs as well as creating new ones.

According to the company’s research, two out of every three new vehicles in 2030 will still feature a diesel or petrol engine – meaning myriad opportunities remain.

For example, Bosch has already demonstrated exhaust treatment systems that can all but eliminate nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from a diesel engine.

These developments could prove advantageous, particularly if scaling battery production and high costs remain problematic in the EV market. 

Electrification is not being overlooked by Bosch, however. The company intends to market its first commercial fuel cell stack, developed in conjunction with Swedish company Powercell, as soon as 2022.

It has also just invested some €100 million ($A162 million) in its electric powertrain facilities, as part of its effort to become a market leader in electromobility.

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