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Bosch backs fossil fuels over fuel cells

It could be 20 years before fuel cell vehicles, seen as the 'Holy Grail' of auto technology because of its zero emissions credentials, become available.

Instead, the latest petrol and diesel engines technology, particularly combined with hybrid electric systems, provide the best solution, according to experts.

Car parts manufacturer Bosch is concentrating its efforts on improved systems for hybrids and petrol and diesel engines because fuel cells are so far away.

Dr Bernd Bohr, chairman of Bosch’s automotive group, speaking at the firm’s test centre at Boxberg, near Frankfurt, said: ‘We cannot see anything that might have a lasting negative effect on the attractiveness of petrol and diesel.’

The European car industry’s ambitious goals for lowering CO2 emissions could only be met if the proportion of diesel engines continues to rise, said Bohr, because on average diesels use 30% less fuel than petrol models.

He said diesel engines have 90% fewer emissions than in 1990 and their torque ratings have trebled in 30 years, while that of petrol engines has only doubled.

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