Bosch signs pact with Sweden's Powercell to mass produce fuel cells

FILE PHOTO: The Bosch logo is reflected in a semiconductor wafer in the company manufacturing base in Reutlingen, Germany, June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German auto supplier Bosch on Monday said it had reached a licensing agreement with Powercell Sweden AB to jointly mass produce hydrogen fuel cells for electrifying heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

European Union rules call for trucks to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 15 percent by 2025, and 30 percent by 2030 which will force the industry to adopt hybrid and electric powertrains.

Hydrogen fuel cells take less time to refuel than electric car batteries, making them more suitable for use in vehicles that need to stay on the road for prolonged periods of time.

One liter of hydrogen contains as much energy as about three liters of diesel, Bosch said, adding that hydrogen fuel cells will power around 20 percent of electric vehicles by 2030.

Under the agreement, Bosch and Powercell will work jointly to develop a polymer-electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell for mass production, Bosch said.

Bosch said it had made an investment of mid-double-digit million euros in the agreement with Powercell.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Jason Neely