Petrol/Diesel Not Needed! India’s 1st Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Emits Water, Not Smoke

Petrol/Diesel Not Needed! India's 1st Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Emits Water, Not Smoke
Petrol/Diesel Not Needed! India’s 1st Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Emits Water, Not Smoke

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and KPIT has successfully completed the maiden test run for India’s first Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) electric hybrid car last week in Pune.

CSIR and KPIT Collaboration

This initiative was a collaborative effort between scientists from two Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs – National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune and Central ElectroChemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi in assistance with IT service provider, KPIT, Pune.

According to CSIR’s know-how, CSIR and KPIT have successfully developed a 10 kWe automotive grade LT-PEMFC fuel cell stack technology, over four years of efforts.

Here HFC is a low temperature Proton Exchange Membrane(PEM) type Fuel Cell which operates at 65-75 degree centigrade, thus making it suitable for vehicular applications.

While, the heart of the PEM fuel cell technology includes the membrane electrode assembly, which is wholly a CSIR knowhow.  

KPIT has assisted with expertise in stack engineering including light-weight metal bipolar plate and gasket design, development of the balance of plant (BoP), system integration, control software and electric powertrain that enabled running the fuel cell vehicle.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Fuel Cell Technology Technology?

To start with, the fuel cell technology emits only water not smoke, thus cutting down the emission of harmful greenhouse gases along with other air pollutants. 

Further, this technology has the potential to reduce dependence on petrol and diesel once introduced in markets. 

It is of great significance as this could help in creating a future with fewer polluting emissions with fuel combustion from vehicles.

“A car could travel at least 400 km in a single hydrogen fill cycle. This was true for Indian road driving conditions and when the vehicle speed was maintained at 60–65 kmh,” according to Deepesh Gujarathi, project leader, KPIT.

While talking about the potential, the CECRI project lead, Bhat said, “Another advantage is that this HFC is at least five to six times lighter than the traditional HFCs presently available in India,”. 

Moreover, this latest technology is better suited for heavy commercial vehicles like trucks or buses, rather than passenger cars, according to the experts.

Apart from this, KPIT is also working on a similar kind of technology for commercial vehicles.

Another advantage is about maintenance as this hybrid vehicle will be required only once in five years, as per the experts.

Mr Gujarathi said, “The cell stacks can be easily replaced. We estimate such a requirement only after completion of at least 20,000 continuous running hours,”.

Although, like EVs and petrol, diesel vehicles, in order to make this technology commercially available, hydrogen refueling infrastructure will have to be set up.

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