India will be on par with developed countries for adoption of hydrogen vehicles
Tier 1 supplier Bosch India held its annual conference on Thursday, highlighting its performance for fiscal year 2022. The German company recorded healthy revenue growth of 21.2% in fiscal year 2021. Bosch’s investment for the year 2021-22 amounted to Rs 302 crores while recording a profit (PBT) of Rs 1,500 crores, up 14.4% from the previous year.
Attending the conference was Soumitra Bhattacharya, Managing Director of Bosch and President of Bosch Group, India, and Bosch.
Soumitra Bhattacharya, MD, Bosch said India’s automotive market will grow despite demand and supply challenges. “Now, with China’s lockdown, there is a strong possibility that the war between Ukraine and Russia will be protracted, which will impact different parts of the world, including India.”
He pointed out that the current semiconductor shortage started about two years ago and many companies still depend on Tier 1 suppliers like Bosch. Giving an example of the vehicle’s ECU, he said: “The ECU is a very typical example of the electronic control unit, which also has these chips because without these chips we can’t do it.” He said that although production is underway, it is not running at full capacity.
Guruprasad Mudlapur, Joint MD and CTO added, “An electronic control unit contains about 75% imports and of these, almost 50% belong to semiconductors. He said the situation may continue next year. “Today, expansion is limited by the ability of semiconductor companies to procure machinery to manufacture the semiconductor. They have to bring in the capex and that capex itself is the biggest limitation.
Investments and acquisitions
Elaborating on the India plans that Bosch announced earlier this year, Bhattacharya said the new investments will go into two key areas and they will not be proportionate. He said the company will invest in the digital mobility space.
Bosch is the largest Tier 1 supplier for e-mobility or global procurement globally. Mudlapur said, “Coming to India, we have just started the India journey and we have acquisitions in the two-wheeler segment. We supply them with components and are currently working on acquisitions in the passenger car market with leading OEMs in India.
The company will continue its electrification journey in the commercial vehicle segment in the future. Mudlapur added, “I would say in the Indian context it’s still a very small step, but in the coming years we should start to see our market share increase.”
Hydrogen as the fuel of choice
The Tier 1 supplier has also made a foray into the green hydrogen market and announced plans to manufacture electrolysers that will help convert water into hydrogen. At the same time, Bosch will also develop injectors for use in ICE vehicles to supply hydrogen to the engine.
“We already have a full portfolio developed over the last seven or eight years, and we’re now rolling out in pilot volumes around the world.” We already have fuel cell electric vehicles running in China, the United States and Europe as a “pilot project”. “, added Mudlapur,
The executive added, “When will he arrive in India? This is something we are working on with OEMs. We also work with ecosystem developers, and hydrogen, as you know, is not something that will work on today’s infrastructure. We need the hydrogen refueling stations to arrive.
Bosch is confident that India will not lag behind advanced countries in the deployment of hydrogen vehicles. The company plans to deploy hydrogen vehicles as early as 2025-26, as soon as the market and infrastructure are ready.
Why is hydrogen the next big thing for the automotive industry?
Hydrogen as a fuel has a much higher density than electric vehicles on the road today. Additionally, since hydrogen is abundant and has no tailpipe emissions, the automotive industry is looking to make leaps and bounds in developments in this area. Considering the fact that the refueling time is much shorter compared to recharging a battery, and that at present there are pipelines that transport LPG and CNG over long distances, the Hydrogen has several advantages.
Reliance has invested in hydrogen manufacturing in India and aims to become the world’s largest producer within the next 12 to 14 months. Taking government interest in the same, India is not far behind when it comes to infrastructure either.