Bosch CEO: Vehicle electrification to take decades

3.03.2024, 12:51

The chief executive of Germany's Bosch engineering group believes that vehicles running on internal combustion engines will be needed for at least 35 years before electrification of road transport can be complete.

If the entire global production of 90 million road vehicles was converted immediately, 16 years would be needed to switch over the entire fleet, Stefan Hartung said in remarks published by The Pioneer website on Sunday. Bosch is a key supplier to the automotive sector.

But in reality, combustion engines would continue to be produced, which would then have to be replaced. "Double that time would be needed, at least 30 to 35 years, to electrify all cars around the world," Hartung said.

He added that in the end, certain vehicles could not be electrified and that combustion technology would have to continue to be produced in Germany. "You can't force customers outside Europe not to use it," Hartung said.

He noted that innovations would be needed that do not yet exist, pointing to agricultural vehicles as an example.

Combine harvesters operate up to 12 hours per day with an output of 250 to 300 kilowatts. "With the battery needed for this, the vehicle would probably sink into the ground," he said.

Hartung noted that electrification was a growth market, but that automotive manufacturers were now saying that the conversion would take longer than previously anticipated.

But he denied that the European Union had moved too fast in setting a target. "With the climate targets, it was important in the first instance that we in fact set a target," he said.