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India Launches First Indigenous Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus

Pune, India (21 August 2022): In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable transportation, Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh unveiled India's very first indigenously developed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus in Pune. This achievement aligns seamlessly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's National Green Hydrogen Mission, marking a significant stride in India's quest for clean energy alternatives.

A Sustainable Vision Unveiled

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Earth Sciences; and MoS in the PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy, and Space, inaugurated the eco-friendly marvel. He emphasized the importance of Prime Minister Modi's Hydrogen Vision, which seeks to establish an Atma Nirbhar (self-reliant) framework for affordable and accessible clean energy. This ambitious vision not only addresses climate change goals but also promises to create new entrepreneurs and job opportunities.

The Power of Green Hydrogen

The heart of this pioneering Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus lies in its utilization of hydrogen and air to generate electricity, powering the vehicle silently and efficiently. What sets it apart is that the only byproduct it releases is water, positioning it as one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

To put this into perspective, a single diesel-powered bus on long-distance routes typically emits a staggering 100 tons of CO2 annually. With over a million such buses in India, the introduction of fuel cell vehicles like this bus could significantly reduce carbon emissions.
Economic Viability and Environmental Impact

Dr. Jitendra Singh highlighted another crucial aspect—the economic viability of fuel cell vehicles. These vehicles exhibit remarkable energy efficiency, resulting in lower operational costs per kilometer compared to their diesel counterparts. This economic advantage could potentially revolutionize the freight industry in India, offering both cost savings and environmental benefits.

Furthermore, fuel cell vehicles produce zero greenhouse gas emissions, contributing positively to India's efforts to combat climate change. Dr. Singh applauded the collaborative efforts of KPIT and CSIR-NCL, emphasizing that Indian scientists and engineers possess world-class technological expertise, available at a fraction of the cost.

Green hydrogen is an excellent clean energy vector that enables deep decarbonization of difficult-to-abate emissions from the refining industry, fertiliser industry, steel industry, cement industry and also from the heavy commercial transportation sector.

A Cleaner Future for India

The minister shed light on the grim reality that approximately 12-14% of CO2 emissions and particulate emissions in India stem from diesel-powered heavy commercial vehicles. These decentralized emissions are challenging to capture effectively. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles offer a promising solution to eliminate on-road emissions from this sector, aligning with India's broader goal of promoting inland waterways for freight and passenger transport.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Jitendra Singh envisioned a future where India transforms from a net importer of fossil energy to a net exporter of clean hydrogen energy. By doing so, India aims to lead the global hydrogen space by becoming a major green hydrogen producer and supplier of related equipment.

Paving the Way for Self-Reliance

In a separate development, Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurated the Bisphenol-A pilot plant at CSIR-NCL. This facility marks a significant milestone, showcasing novel process technologies developed under CSIR's Covid-19 mission program and Bulk Chemicals mission program.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) holds a vital role as a feedstock for the production of epoxy resins, polycarbonate, and other engineering plastics. The global demand for BPA is expected to reach 7.1 million tons by 2027, growing steadily at a CAGR of 2%. Remarkably, India currently imports its entire estimated annual demand of 1,35,000 tons of BPA. Dr. Singh expressed hope that CSIR-NCL's technology would facilitate import substitution, aligning with India's Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) initiative.
A Competitive Indigenous Solution

CSIR-NCL's achievement lies in its novel downstream process technology, which positions this indigenous innovation on par with global benchmarks. The technology is ready for transfer and further co-development to reach commercial scale.

India's foray into hydrogen fuel cell technology and the production of critical raw materials like BPA not only strengthens its self-reliance but also underscores its commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

In conclusion, the launch of India's first Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus signifies a major step towards a greener, more self-reliant future. As the nation continues to invest in clean energy and innovation, it is poised to become a global leader in sustainable technology and environmental conservation.