Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh, on Sunday (21 August), launched India’s first truly indigenously developed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus.
Developed by KPIT-CSIR in Pune, the fuel cell utilises Hydrogen and Air to generate electricity to power the bus, and the only effluent from the bus is water.
For comparison, a single diesel bus plying on long-distance routes typically emits 100 tons of CO2 annually, and there are over a million such buses in India.
Also, the high efficiency of fuel cell vehicles and the high energy density of Hydrogen ensures that the operational costs in rupees per kilometre for fuel cell trucks and buses are lower than diesel-powered vehicles.
“Green hydrogen is an excellent clean energy vector that enables deep decarbonisation of difficult-to-abate emissions from the refining industry, fertiliser industry, steel industry, cement industry and also from the heavy commercial transportation sector,” the union minister said.
“India can pole-vault from being net importer of fossil energy to becoming net exporter of clean hydrogen energy,” he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that about 12-14 per cent of CO2 and particulate emissions come from diesel-powered heavy commercial vehicles, which are decentralised emissions and hence tricky to capture.
The Minister said, Hydrogen fuelled vehicles provide an excellent means to eliminate the on-road emissions from this sector. He said India also aims to increase inland waterways for freight and passenger transport.
The Minister lauded the joint development efforts of KPIT and CSIR-NCL and pointed out that the technology prowess of Indian scientists and engineers is no less than the best in the world and at much lower costs.