Union Minister travels in hydrogen-powered car as a strong indication of a shift in stance by the Centre
- The Union Transport Minister travelled to the Parliament House in a hydrogen-based Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)
- It could be interpreted as a strong indication of a shift in stance by the Centre that has so far backed conventional battery-powered electric vehicles, or BEVs.
Categories of Electric Vehicles
- Typically, there are four broad categorisations of electric vehicles—conventional hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), BEVs and Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)
- Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs): Low-emission vehicles that use an electric motor to assist gas-powered engines. All energy comes from gasoline.
- Battery Electric Vehicles( BEVs): Powered solely by an electric battery, with no gas engine parts and zero emissions.
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): Similar to a Hybrid, but with a larger battery and electric motor. Has a gas tank and a charging port.
- Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) : combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, which runs the motor.
- Since they’re powered entirely by electricity, FCEVs are considered EVs, but unlike BEVs, their range and refuelling processes are comparable to conventional cars and trucks.
- It is hydrogen produced by splitting water by electrolysis.
- In a hydrogen-powered car, the gas is stored in a high-pressure tank and is transferred to the fuel cell to generate electricity created by a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.
- It is a zero-emission fuel.
India’s policy on hydrogen-powered vehicles
- Comprehensive National Hydrogen Energy Mission: Prime Minister while speaking at the 3rd Re-inVest Conference in November 2020, had announced plans to launch a comprehensive National Hydrogen Energy Mission.
- Hydrogen Energy Mission: proposed in the Union Budget for 2021-22 by the Finance Minister
- Aim: to generate hydrogen from green power sources
- 13-point Green Hydrogen Policy: announced by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
- Aim: detailing the various incentives and ways to manufacture green hydrogen.
Usage of Hydrogen powered vehicles in India
- Delhi is the first city in India to have buses that run on hydrogen-spiked compressed natural gas (H-CNG).
- H-CNG is a CNG that contains 18 percent hydrogen and is manufactured straight from natural gas without the need of normal mixing.
- In Leh and Delhi, NTPC Ltd is running a pilot programme with ten hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric buses and fuel cell electric automobiles.
- The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) made an announcement proposing changes to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
- It comprises guidelines for evaluating the safety of hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars.
- It will serve as a supplementary regulatory framework.
- Issues with Infrastructure: A major impediment to the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell cars has been a lack of fueling station infrastructure.
- Hydrogen production is an energy-intensive process
- High R&D : This modern technology needs further research in order to make the procedure inexpensive and scalable.
- Hydrogen transportation: Gaseous hydrogen is very combustible and difficult to transport. Safety is seen as a major priority.
- Electrolyzer expenses and supply chain logistics must be reduced.
- Policymakers should also think about how to build legal frameworks that promote the incorporation of the hydrogen-based economy.
- Public investments must be carefully planned and channelled in this field
Prelims take away
- Green Hydrogen
- Fuel cell electric vehicles
- Discuss the significance and associated challenges in adopting hydrogen-powered vehicles in India.