BharatBenz, a renowned Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer, has partnered with Reliance Industries to introduce India’s first intercity luxury coach powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology. This unveiling represents a significant stride towards India’s green mobility objectives.
The eco-friendly coach was showcased during the 4th Energy Transitions Working Group meeting, a part of India’s G20 Presidency. The event took place in Taleigao, Goa. This initiative forms an integral part of an extensive study to determine the practicality of Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology for long-distance travel.
The coach’s chassis is built on a customized design by BharatBenz, while the Hydrogen Fuel Cell system, a key component of the coach, is designed and developed by Reliance Industries.
The Fuel Cell system employs state-of-the-art components from international partners, complemented by substantial localization efforts. With a gross system power of 127 kW and a net power of 105 kW (equivalent to 296 bhp), the coach equals current diesel-powered intercity buses. On a single hydrogen fill, this advanced coach can traverse up to 400 kilometres, presenting a sustainable solution for intercity transport. This innovative vehicle will undergo rigorous trials over the coming year, including comprehensive validation and safety tests.
According to BharatBenz, this initiative is a result of a successful collaboration with Reliance Industries. Their mutual aim is to balance the demand and supply of green hydrogen in India.
With the Indian transport sector contributing 25-35 per cent of PM 2.5 emissions, the successful implementation of such green technologies is likely to have a substantial positive impact. With India relying on imports for around 80 per cent of its crude oil needs, this hydrogen technology could significantly reduce this dependence.
Reliance Industries previously unveiled India’s first Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine technology solution for heavy-duty trucks at the India Energy Week in Bangalore. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell coach is seen as an alternative transportation model for the country’s future.
The output of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell coach is nearly equivalent to 300 BHP from conventional diesel engines. This initiative demonstrates BharatBenz and Reliance Industries’ innovative work in pushing hydrogen propulsion technologies forward.
Other Indian vehicle manufacturers, including Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, are exploring hydrogen-powered technology. Ashok Motors is testing Reliance’s hydrogen technology in one of its trucks, while Tata Motors has achieved a milestone by receiving a road-worthiness certificate for its forthcoming hydrogen-powered buses.
Upon successful completion of the testing phase, the luxury coach could set a benchmark for sustainable travel. This development underscores India’s commitment to lowering its carbon footprint and leading the charge in sustainable mobility solutions.