India’s first indigenously designed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus developed by KPIT-CSIR in Pune to reduce carbon emissions has been launched. Comparatively a single diesel bus emits almost 100 tons of CO2 per year while there are over millions of diesel-led vehicles contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions in India. On the other hand, the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus generates electricity by utilising hydrogen, air and instead of greenhouse gasses, it creates water as a byproduct.
Dr. Jitendra Singh, a Union Minister who inaugurated the launch, said regarding hydrogen cell-powered vehicles that “green hydrogen is an excellent clean energy vector that enables deep decarbonization of difficult-to-abate emissions from refining industry, fertilizer industry, steel industry, cement industry, and also from the heavy commercial transportation sector…India can pole-vault from being net importer of fossil energy to becoming net explorer of clean hydrogen energy.”
The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus will eliminate excess carbon emissions and lead India to achieve green energy from renewable sources. The hydrogen-fueled cell work similarly to conventional batteries used in electric vehicles. However, it does not run out frequently and is durable as it requires minimal recharge compared to EVs. The Union Minister also added that high-efficiency hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will require less operational costs per kilometer than any diesel-powered vehicles.
The lead researchers from Sentient Lab, who developed the bus, have high hopes and can see their developed bus to reduce carbon emissions in the future. The indigenously designed bus will be one of the first of its kind to be developed in India and will help India fulfill its net zero carbon emission goals. Sentient Labs also indigenously designed and developed from scratch key components like Balance of Plant, Powertrain, and Battery pack. All of these indigenously designed components have been deployed on a 9-meter, 32-seater, air-conditioned bus. The design enables a range of 450 kms and uses 30 kgs of Hydrogen. Because of its modular architecture, changes in the design as per requirements of range and operating conditions are possible.
Mr Ravi Pandit, Chairman of Sentient Labs, said, “We are proud to launch an indigenously developed hydrogen fuel cell power bus. A strong technical team along with CSIR-NCL worked on several technology components. This will go a long way in powering Hydrogen Mission, AatmaNirbhar Bharat and importantly sustainable mobility. We envision that the solution will see wide-spread adoption powered by several partnerships. Our efforts will also be pivotal in enabling vehicle makers and suppliers to build a net-zero carbon path in India.”
Recently Sentient had announced the world’s first pioneering technology that can harness hydrogen directly from agricultural waste for further use in fuel cell-powered vehicles. This first of its kind technology furthers the technology around sustainable mobility.
During the same visit, The Union Minister also inaugurated the Bisphenol-A pilot plant at CSIR-NCL in Pune. Bisphenol-A is used as key raw material for developing polycarbonate, epoxy resins, and engineering plastic globally. Almost 1.35 lakh tons of Bisphenol-A are exported annually by India while the global market is still dominated by companies based in the US and China.
During the inauguration of the Bisphenol-A pilot plant, Dr. Singh said, “The global market for Bisphenol-A is projected to reach 7.1 million tons by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 2% over the analysis period 2020-2027. The entire estimated annual demand of 1,35,000 tons in India is imported today.” The Union Minister also added that CSIR-NCL technology will enable India’s mission to facilitate the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.