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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Based Bus and Car Project

  • 28 Apr 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited has announced the launch of its new project involving hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) to run in Delhi and Leh.

Key Points

  • NTPC Limited has invited Global Expression of Interest (EoI) to provide 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell (FC) based buses and an equal number of such cars in Leh and Delhi.
    • The EoI has been issued by NTPC's wholly owned subsidiary, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) Limited.
  • This will be the first time such a project will be undertaken in India, wherein a complete solution from green energy to fuel cell vehicle would be developed.
    • The move aims at decarbonizing the mobility segment.
    • Tata Motors launched Starbus Electric 9m, Starbus Electric 12m and the Starbus Hybrid 12m range of buses which are made in India and are powered by alternative fuels (like Biofuels).
      • These buses produce only water and heat as a byproduct, thus, producing zero emissions.
  • The initiative has been undertaken with the support of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
    • The ministry will also harness renewable energy for the generation of hydrogen and develop its storage and dispensation facilities as part of pilot projects at Leh and Delhi.
  • NTPS’s initiatives for complete e-mobility solutions for public transport include:
    • Creation of public charging infrastructure: 90 public charging stations in various cities and battery charging and swapping stations for electric 3-wheelers have been commissioned.
    • Providing electric buses to state/city transport undertakings. For example, e-bus solutions for Andaman & Nicobar Administration are under implementation.
  • Other Initiatives:

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

  • Mechanism: The FCEV combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate an electric current.

Hydrogen + Oxygen = Electricity + Water Vapour

2H2 (g) + O2 (g) → 2 H2O (l)

  • FCEV engines are similar to the conventional internal combustion engines because they also rely on a constant supply of fuel (hydrogen) and oxygen.
    • However, there are no moving parts in the fuel cell, so they are more efficient and reliable.
  • Advantages:
    • FCEVs produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and none of the air pollutants that cause health problems.
    • Fuel cells emit only heat and water as a byproduct and are far more energy-efficient than traditional combustion technologies.
    • FCEVs do not need to be plugged in for charging, like battery-powered EVs.
    • There is a wide availability of resources for producing hydrogen.
  • Disadvantages:
    • The process of making hydrogen needs energy, often from fossil fuel sources, which raises questions over hydrogen’s green credentials.
    • Handling of hydrogen is a safety concern because it is more explosive than petrol.
    • These vehicles are expensive and fuel dispensing pumps are scarce.

Source: PIB

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