It's been about five months since Bosch hired Stefan Hartung as CEO. In an interview, Hartung recently discussed the rocky beginning against the backdrop of the pandemic, supply bottlenecks, and his views on electromobility.
Stefan Hartung started the year as CEO of the Bosch Group in tumultuous circumstances. Hartung discussed the difficulties of the pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, and the resulting supply shortages in an interview with the Tagesspiegel.
Hartung approved the federal government's performance so far: "To my mind, politicians have made gains in recent months. I've witnessed politicians who are decisive, flexible, and invested in the issues at hand daily," said the CEO. "I am pleasantly surprised by this kind of reciprocity almost every week. Since its inception, the federal government has been required to respond to emergencies. While Germany cannot fix everything, it can still make the best choices."
The head of Bosch wants there to be more transparency when it comes to new technologies.
Even though the traffic light coalition has primarily been concerned with electric vehicles, Hartung would like to see a little more openness to technology on their part. Since all CO2-free technologies should be developed and made available, Hartung argues that a more welcoming attitude toward technological innovation is warranted. "Inadequate availability of some forms of energy in Germany makes this a necessity. So keep all of our options on the table."
According to Hartung, hydrogen has specific and immediate uses, including heavy goods transportation and a few other niches. Bosch currently supports electrification "with great energy," and Europe is now fully committed to electric cars. "We make significant investments and introduce new products to the market regularly. Those methods can't produce any carbon dioxide. Where they are used is determined by the market," as Hartung went on. It is possible to use hydrogen fuel cells in long-distance, heavy-duty traffic. The CEO is confident that fuel cells will eventually be installed in passenger cars through LCVs. Internal combustion engines powered by hydrogen will also become more common, especially in slow-moving, power-hungry machinery.
"Everyone on Earth has to make it" through the energy transition.
According to Hartung's estimates, only about a third of the roughly 1.6 billion vehicles in use worldwide in 2030 could be electrified using current generation capacities. "There is no more room for expansion. So, it seems that we need to embrace every available technological advancement. Furthermore, diesel fuel is free of contaminants for the foreseeable future. For the simple reason, that time is running out. Just because Germany or Europe may be able to achieve carbon-neutral mobility is of little use. All humanity must survive."
While rising inputs like lithium-ion batteries reduce the appeal of EVs, the rising cost of oil has a similar effect on internal combustion engines. "There is, unfortunately, no turning back now. In contrast to the past, fuel made from mineral oil will never be as inexpensive again ".
To put it another way, Hartung has reached a point where he cannot return to his old ways. Hartung left the world with a parting message: "Companies, governments, and societies alike maintain their dedication to fighting climate change. Whatever happens in the world, that cannot occur. Potentially sluggish development in the near term. We also know that the success of the transition is uncertain, both in terms of the price tag and the level of prosperity lost as a result. Sustainable lifestyles may be viewed as incompatible with financial success, but this is not necessarily the case ".