*AIl images used for illustration purpose only.
The Hydrogen FCEV pilot project is aimed squarely at decarbonising public transportation in the country. As part of Phase 1, NTPC Limited will procure 10 FCEVs (5 buses and 5 cars) for Leh and Delhi each.
Amidst the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, the Indian government seems to have taken notice of the drastic reduction of pollution levels observed across the country. As a likely response to this positive stimulus, NTPC Limited, via its subsidiary NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN Limited), has issued an EOI inviting global Fuel Cell EV (FCEV) manufacturers to supply such vehicles & the related technical know-how for the pilot project.
Phase 1 of the pilot project will cover Leh (Union Territory of Ladakh) and Delhi. NTPC Limited will procure a total of 20 FCEVs (10 for each region) 'for demonstration and use in public transportation.' The EOI also states that the government will use inputs received from the selected FCEV manufacturers to develop hydrogen generation plants (with a keen focus on using renewable energy sources) and subsequently, set up hydrogen retailing outlets in viable regions of India.
As for the shortlisted FCEV makers, they'll be tasked with the supply and maintenance of the FCEVs during the pilot project. They will also be required to provide all the technical requirements for setting up the country's Hydrogen production & mobility ecosystem. Depending on the success rate of Phase 1, subsequent phases of the pilot project may be introduced in other regions as well.
While the news is encouraging, what is yet to be determined is the timeline of the pilot project and the timeframe of setting up the country's Hydrogen ecosystem. In any case, the move to promote Hydrogen-powered EVs is likely to reap greater benefits in the long run, since the production, storage & transportation of Hydrogen, especially using renewable sources of energy, can be relatively less polluting than the manufacturing of conventional EV batteries.