Recently, power and renewable energy minister R K Singh said that NTPC Ltd which is India’s largest power producer and a central PSU under the Ministry of Power is planning to start premium fuel cell electric bus services between Delhi and Jaipur and Delhi and Agra. Fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) services will also be run in Delhi.
At the launch of the Go Electric campaign, the minister said – “We are going to start these premium bus services with FCEV.,” He did not, however, specify any time frame for the beginning of these services.
FCEVs are powered by hydrogen and produce no tailpipe emissions as they emit only water vapour and warm air. Hence, the move to launch this pilot project is to decarbonise the mobility segment. India is moving steadily to clean and green mobility in a bid to reduce its massive crude oil import and to mitigate climate change and local air pollution issues.
Earlier in April 2020, NTPC’s wholly-owned subsidiary, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) Limited, had issued a global expression of interest (EoI) for ten FCEVs for public transport in Leh and New Delhi. According to Singh, the long-distance heavy mobility must switch to FCEVs as there is no point in having these huge gas-guzzling trucks and buses. “Although it will be slightly expensive to begin with, gradually prices will come down,” he added.
The government is also in discussions with the ministries of oil and gas, fertiliser and steel on the hydrogen mission to work out a bidding framework.
Mr. Singh also said that – “We will go for green hydrogen bids after 4-5 months. We already had discussions with the relevant ministries.” According to him if a minimum 10% green hydrogen obligation is imposed on steel and fertiliser units and oil refineries, fuel cell would become competitive in three years.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari was also present at the event and suggested that the use of electric vehicles should be made mandatory for all government officials. He informed that one electric vehicle saves almost INR 30,000 per month on fuel cost which comes to around INR 30 crore a month for 10,000 vehicles.
The Go Electric campaign was launched to spread awareness about the benefits of e-mobility and electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the country.