Hydrogen Fuel in India: A far-fetched dream or reality?

What is Hydrogen Fuel?

Indians are well versed with traditional IC engines running on petrol or diesel, as well as CNG gas which had become quite popular seeing its low price. Electric cars then became the hot topic for discussion as their low pollution abilities and refined engines were fabulous, however, hydrogen gas becoming the primary power for vehicles, this was considered as something which was a mere far fetched thought. Guess what? It is possible! 

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a part of the EV family, however, they come with the added advantage of nearly 0 emissions along with the relief from charging woes, if your home is unsuitable for setting electric vehicle charging. Green hydrogen is among the cleanest forms of renewable energy, which is generated through the electrolysis of water to separate hydrogen and oxygen with only water vapor as a by-product thus cutting down completely on carbon emissions as well as fueling the vehicle. To refuel the car, pressurized hydrogen will be sold at gas stations which will take around 10-12 minutes to fill and then it will undergo reaction with the electrolyser inside to generate fuel, thus giving the car a longer range, compared to the present lot of EVs. The cars will also be equipped with regenerative braking to recover more charge. At present, only California has the presence of hydrogen fuel EVs, it will be interesting to see how long it takes to find these on the Indian roads. 

Potential in India

India has seen immense demand in the automotive industry over the years, and with traditional fuel reserves depleting rapidly, alternative fuel will soon transition from being an option to becoming the only choice. Hydrogen fuel, though, has high potential in India as developing charging infrastructure at homes is still a time-consuming prospect and the India of longer charging hours makes the people eager towards a quicker solution. As the number of cars on the road has been increasing significantly, the necessity of cleaner fuel is gaining higher importance. The only part where India could fall short would be the price of hydrogen. India has a projection of expecting three-fourth of hydrogen being used to be based entirely on renewable sources of energy along with missions started by the Indian government to show support for hydrogen fuels makes it evident that India is moving towards accepting hydrogen as a fuel. 

Government Support

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the 75th Independence Day of the country, announced a national hydrogen mission to become not just a global hub for clean hydrogen, but also with a vision of being the world’s largest exporter of hydrogen. With such large scale production support, one can certainly anticipate hydrogen to be brought in as a fuel. The Union Minister for Road Transport, Mr. Nitin Gadkari has also laid emphasis on adopting green hydrogen as a fuel for not just cars, but also buses and trucks as he aims to begin hydrogen production from water by sewage waste thus converting waste products into energy. He’s also due to issue a notice to car makers making it mandatory for them to have flexible fuel options in their range of vehicles. He himself has purchased a pilot project car that will run on hydrogen with the idea of leading by example. State-owned GAIL has visions of setting up India’s largest green hydrogen production plant, and they’re already on the lookout for sites, including one at Vijaypur, Madhya Pradesh. NTPC, National Thermal Power Corporation, also is set to establish its hydrogen plant at Leh Ladakh and start by plying 5 buses on hydrogen as a test. With the government backing alternative fuels well, Hydrogen Fuel is certainly expected to be a driving force in the future.

Nitin Gadkari Hydrogen Fuel India
Source: TOI

Benefits of Hydrogen Fuel

Hydrogen fuel may seem like an idea that will take a high amount of time for execution, however, it does bring about a host of benefits for Indians: 

1) Pollution levels will begin coming down rapidly. Presently many states in India are facing environmental disturbances due to the greenhouse effect, the national capital Delhi is severely affected as well. Hydrogen as a fuel brings about near 0 emissions thus conserving the environment well

2) The difficulties in setting up home charging or waiting for long hours to charge an EV will be taken care of as Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles do not require that much time. 

3) Not just the transport sector, Hydrogen fuel can bolster up more industries where the usage of fuel for operating machinery is needed, such as the chemical industry, iron and steel industry, power generation etc thus bringing about a complete change in India’s manufacturing process. 

The introduction of hydrogen fuel is indeed a highly beneficial idea with environmental concerns having the need to be addressed at the earliest. It remains to be seen how well these ambitious plans are executed. 

Read More: Powerful Rise of Tata’s UniEVerse 

Our Word

India’s progress is at a rapid pace in the automobile industry, from having a wide variety of vehicles to now having a set of fuel options to choose from, definitely, this large market is the right place for any new product coming in. That being said, hydrogen being used as fuel is among the handiest and efficient innovations coming up in the future. The fossil fuels in use aren’t renewable that easily and at the rate at which they’re being used up, the future of transportation has the cloud of uncertainty looming right on top of it. In this scenario, the need for alternative fuel options such as hydrogen is a must for society, as well as for the conservation of nature as hydrogen ensures emissions are cut down to nearly 0. So yes, we can certainly count hydrogen fuels as a high potential idea entering the Indian market, and we expect it to be a product with excellent demand in the years to come. Do let us know your views on the various fuel options in the market and which do you prefer, in the comment section below!

Hydrogen Fuel India
Source: CNBC

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