Bosch on Wednesday announced a $200 million investment to build hydrogen fuel-cell stacks for Class 8 semi trucks at its Anderson, South Carolina, facility.
Production is scheduled to start in 2026, and work has already begun on upgrades that include adding an estimated 147,000 square feet of floor space for fuel-cell manufacturing and related operations, Bosch said in a press release.
Bosch is an investor in Nikola, and the once-troubled fuel-cell vehicle company plans to use its fuel-cell tech. The Nikola Tre semi recently completed a testing program with Anheuser-Busch in California, in which prototype trucks logged over 12,000 miles and hauled two million pounds of freight, the release noted, adding that Nikola is continuing pilot testing with Total Transportation Services Inc.
Nikola plans to assemble production versions of the Tre at its own Arizona factory, but it's also contracting with truck maker IVECO to have vehicles assembled at that firm's German factory. Nikola had been favoring General Motors as the supplier for hydrogen fuel-cell hardware in North America, with Bosch for Europe. GM had also been slated to build Nikola's Badger fuel-cell pickup.
Although fuel cells are shifting to trucks, rather than passenger vehicles, Bosch might provide U.S.-built fuel cells to other truckmakers. It added fuel cells to its portfolio as part of a broad shift in the shadow of the VW diesel scandal that involved the supplier's complicity in emissions "defeat devices," and now plans to invest $1 billion in fuel-cell tech by 2024.