At the COP21 meeting in Paris in 2015, 195 countries agreed to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels. To grasp this target, the world will need to cut energy-related dioxide (CO2) emissions by 60 percent by 2050-even as the population grows by over two billion people. This requires dramatic changes in our energy system: a strong increase in energy efficiency, a transition to renewable-energy sources and low-carbon energy carriers, and an increase in the rate at which industry captures and stores or reuses the CO2emissions created by the remaining fossil fuels in use.
Two years after the Paris Agreement, at the COP23 meeting in Bonn, the Hydrogen Council – a consortium of 18 companies in the automotive, oil and gas, industrial gas, and equipment industries – presented the researched vision of how hydrogen can contribute to the ambitious climate targets. It considers hydrogen an enabler of the transition to a renewable-energy system and a clean-energy carrier for a wide range of applications. If serious efforts are made to limit global warming to 2 degrees, the council estimates that hydrogen could contribute around one-fifth of the total abatement need by 2050. This vision is aspiring but be only feasible if policy makers, industry, and investors step up efforts to accelerate the deployment of low-carbon technology with perfect strategy formulation &proper implementation of regulations made towards this.Hydrogen-fueled cars have been on display at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, as part of a demonstration to show that clean transport technologies are available at that point of time and, if scaled up in a timely way, can play a major role in helping governments achieve their goals set under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The vehicular pollution arising from the increasing stock of private vehicles, especially internal combustion engines (ICE) have contributed significantly to deterioration of air quality in Indian cities. The increase in ICE vehicles stock has led to disastrous results. Scaling up India’s ambitious agenda to combat climate change, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced five “Amrit Tatya” at the COP26 Summit including the target to attain net-zero emissions by 2070. Delivering the National Statement at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, our respected PM said,“India will increase its capacity of non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW and meet 50 per cent of its energy requirements through renewable energy by 2030. Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, the current Minister for Road Transport & Highways in the Government of India, running his tenure for over 8 years, have expressed the road map towards abolishing internal combustion engines (ICE) stage by stage.
In this context, it may be noted that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), India has the world’s worst air quality. Even at the backdrop of Corona when entire nation was under lockdown, during FY 2020-21, 36 cities out of 50 cities which had unhealthy levels of air quality, were identified from India.
It is also important to notice that the Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that the impacts of climate change are already mortally evident – with the increasing temperatures, more floods and droughts, more extreme weather events giving rise to cyclones / tornados / typhoon / hurricane / thunder-storms, and rising sea levels. These changes are causing serious problems for livelihoods and the well-being of persons all around the world. To fight against this -the European 27-nation bloc joins more than a dozen other nations which have set deadlines for ending sales of new cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) which emit toxic gasses which is a major driver of climate change.Norway is the trailblazer in ending the reign of ICE vehicles, with only zero-emission new vehicles either battery electric or hydrogen-fueled are to be strictly implemented from 2025.The European Union approved a deal that will lead to the complete phaseout of sales of new fossil fuel cars by 2035, with a final green light by all their energy ministers.
“I believe that electro-mobility is the only way to make the transport sector emissions free, so hydrogen-cars are a big contribution towards the objective of the UN to achieve climate neutrality. We are in a phase in which we can see the technology works and is ready to be applied. We need the gas industry, because they know how to produce hydrogen, we need the mineral oil industry because they have the fueling stations and we need the car manufacturers who know how to build the fuel cells,” said Claudia Fried, spokesperson for the Clean Energy Partnership.
Clearly, hydrogen as a fuel is only clean if produced with the help of renewable energy such as solar and wind and the Clean Energy Partnership says that at least half of the hydrogen produced will come from such sources, if not more.
At present on an average the Hydrogen cars use 5 kilograms of hydrogen to drive a range of around 500 kilometers and it takes about 3 minutes to tank a car with hydrogen. Toyota Japanese car manufacturers have set their sights on being the lead exporter of hydrogen-powered cars since 2016.
- THE CONCEPT OF HYDROGEN ELECTRIC VEHICLE:
The term “hydrogen electric car” refers to a vehicle powered by a specific energy source – hydrogen – using a special device: the fuel cell. The hydrogen fuel cell vehicle belongs to the large family of electric cars, as it gets its traction from an electric power train. For an electric car powered by a lithium-ion battery, electrical energy is simply stored in the battery after charging on the electrical grid. Herein lies the difference with the hydrogen vehicle. The electricity required to run the power train is not only supplied by the battery, but also by the fuel cell using hydrogen stored onboard the vehicle. The majority of hydrogen vehicles currently produced by automobile manufacturers work in this way.
The hydrogen-powered vehicle shares the same emission-free driving ambitions as the “conventional” electric vehicle. That said, there still remain several challenges to overcome in order to reduce the environmental impact of hydrogen production as much as possible. The current method of extracting this chemical element relies on the steam reforming of hydrocarbons, and is called “grey” hydrogen because it is extracted from fossil fuels.
But there is another way to obtain hydrogen: through water electrolysis. Where the electricity used in the electrolysis process is from a sustainable energy source, like solar or wind power, it is possible to produce “green” hydrogen. This extraction method is a solution for the future.
- How the hydrogen electric vehicle works using a fuel cell:
Here the question comes – How does the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle work in practice? Its electric energy is supplied by a fuel cell. Pressurized hydrogen is stored in special tanks onboard the vehicle. Hydrogen gas (H2), along with dioxygen (O2) from the surrounding air, are supplied to the fuel cell. These two gases then undergo an electro chemical reaction inside the cell, in turn producing electricity, heat and water vapor (H2O), which is released in the form of a gas via a small tube located underneath the vehicle.The resulting energy thus produced (or the standby energy from the battery, if exist, simultaneously, whichever is preferred depending on the circumstances) actually power the car’s electric motor, which is then able to run silently and with zero pollutant or CO2emissions. When it comes to replenishing the hydrogen, fueling takes place at dedicated stations using pumps that inject hydrogen, quicklyinto the vehicle’s tank in the form of pressurized gas.
- The energy consumption &Emission Aspects of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle:
Next comes the question – How much does a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle consume? Bear in mind that the hydrogen atom, two of which are required to make up the dihydrogen (H2) molecule, is one of the simplest and lightest natural elements on the periodic table (the classification which lists all the chemical elements present on Earth – always being taught in elementary Chemistry).Hydrogen has very low volume density. So, in order to obtain the quantity of hydrogen needed to power a vehicle, it is necessary to store a considerable amount in large tanks at high pressure. Hydrogen use in internal combustion engine is depicted below:
ITS Emissions Aspects:
The combustion of hydrogen with oxygen produces water as its only product:
2H2 + 02 = 2H2O
The combustion of hydrogen with air however can also produce oxides of nitrogen (NOx):
H2 + O2 + N2 = H20 + N2 + NOx
The oxides of nitrogen are created due to the high temperatures generated within the combustion chamber during combustion. This high temperature causes some of the nitrogen in the air to combine with the oxygen in the air. The amount of NOx formed depends on:
- The air/fuel ratio
- The engine compression ratio
- The engine timing
- The ignition timing
- Whether thermal dilution is utilized
In addition to oxides of nitrogen, traces of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide can be present in the exhaust gas, due to seeped oil burning in the combustion chamber.
Depending on the condition of the engine (burning of oil) and the operating strategy used (a rich verses lean air/fuel ratio), a hydrogen engine can produce from almost zero emissions (as low as few ppm) to high NOx and significant carbon monoxide emissions. That has become the element of research how the situation may be further improved.
Development of Hydrogen internal combustion engine has been receiving more interest recently, particularly for heavy duty commercial vehicles. Part of the motivation for this is as a bridging technology to meet future climate CO2 emission goals, and as technology more compatible with existing automotive knowledge and manufacturing. Hon’ble Cabinet Minister Shri Neetin Gadkari is also keen to use this advance technology in Indian Road to reduce the high carbon pollution in road transport sector.
The differences between a hydrogen ICE and a traditional petrol engine include hardened valves and valve seats, stronger connecting rods, non-platinum tipped spark plugs, a higher voltage ignition coil, fuel injectors designed for a gas instead of a liquid, larger crankshaft damper, stronger head gasket material, modified (for supercharger) intake manifold, positive pressure supercharger, and high temperature engine oil. All modifications would amount to about one point five times (1.5) the current cost of a petrol engine. These hydrogen engines burn fuel in the same manner that petrol engines do.
The theoretical maximum power output from a hydrogen engine depends on the air/fuel ratio and fuel injection method used. The stoichiometric air/fuel ratio for hydrogen is 34:1. At this air/fuel ratio, hydrogen will displace 29% of the combustion chamber leaving only 71% for the air. As a result, the energy content of this mixture will be less than it would be if the fuel were gasoline. Since both the carbureted and port injection methods mix the fuel and air prior to it entering the combustion chamber, these systems limit the maximum theoretical power obtainable to approximately 85% of that of gasoline engines. For direct injection systems, which mix the fuel with the air after the intake valve has closed (and thus the combustion chamber has 100% air), the maximum output of the engine can be approximately 15% higher than that for petrol engines.
Therefore, depending on how the fuel is metered, the maximum output for a hydrogen engine can be either 15% higher or 15% less than that of gasoline if a stoichiometric air/fuel ratio is used. However, at a stoichiometric air/fuel ratio, the combustion temperature is very high and as a result it will form a large amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx), which is a criteria pollutant. Since one of the reasons for using hydrogen is low exhaust emissions, hydrogen engines are not normally designed to run at a stoichiometric air/fuel ratio.
Typically, hydrogen engines are designed to use about twice as much air as theoretically required for complete combustion. At this air/fuel ratio, the formation of NOx is reduced to near zero. Unfortunately, this also reduces the power output to about half that of a similarly sized petrol engine. To make up for the power loss, hydrogen engines are usually larger than petrol engines, and/or are equipped with turbochargers or superchargers. A small amount of hydrogen can be burned outside the combustion chamber and reach into the air/fuel mixture in the chamber to ignite the main combustion.
The efficiency of a hydrogen combustion engine can be similar to that of a traditional combustion engine. If well optimized, slightly higher efficiencies can be achieved. The comparison with a hydrogen fuel cell is interesting. The fuel cell has a high efficiency peak at low load, while at high load the efficiency drops. The hydrogen combustion engine has a peak at high load and can achieve similar efficiency levels as a hydrogen fuel cell. From this, one can deduct that hydrogen combustion engines are a match in terms of efficiency for fuel cells for heavy duty applications.
Efficiency decreases for small internal combustion engines. A 67 ml 4-stroke engine converted to hydrogen and tested with a dynamometer at the best operating point (3000 rpm, 14 NLM (normal liters per minute), 2.5 times stoichiometric air/fuel ratio) achieved 520 W and 21% efficiency. In order to measure the vehicular efficiency an also converted similar 107 ml engine (Honda GX110 with best gasoline efficiency 26%) was installed in a lightweight vehicle and driven up known gradients while measuring speed and hydrogen flow. Calculations gave as results 3.5% to 5.9% average efficiencies and 7.5% peak efficiency. The consumption measured on a level road was 24 NLM/km at a speed of 25 km/h and 31 NLM/km at 43 km/h.
As pure hydrogen does not contain carbon, there are no carbon-based pollutants, such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and hydrocarbons (HC), in the exhaust. As hydrogen combustion occurs in an atmosphere containing nitrogen and oxygen, however, it can produce oxides of nitrogen known as NOx. In this way, the combustion process is much like other high temperature combustion fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, diesel or natural gas. As such hydrogen combustion engines at present are not considered zero emission.
A downside is that hydrogen is difficult to handle. Due to the very small size of the hydrogen molecule, hydrogen is able to leak through many apparently solid materials in a process called hydrogen embrittlement. Escaped hydrogen gas mixed with air is potentially explosive.
- DETAILS OF hydrogen fuel cell electric VEHICLE USED BY Renault Group:
The hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle is, for Renault Group, an electric vehicle that combines a lithium-ion battery and a hydrogen fuel cell under one hood. By opting to use both technologies together, the brand combines the best of both worlds. Hence why, behind the iconic diamond logo on its electric utility vehicle Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogen, Renault has integrated a fuel cell.
In this operational diagram of the Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogen, the motor of the hydrogen-powered electric car is powered by its lithium-ion battery. As for the fuel cell, it provides an additional energy reserve that increases the range of the car providing more autonomy and shorter charging time. Hydrogen-powered vehicles provide the driver with the practical and financial advantages of electric power, plus the benefits offered by hydrogen in terms of flexibility and range.
- The advantages of the hydrogen FUEL CELL & BATTERY power TOGETHER:
Behind the wheel of a hydrogen-powered vehicle, the driver benefits above all from almost double the range. As part of the complementary relationship between the fuel cell and the lithium-ion battery, the electricity produced by the fuel cell using the stored hydrogen is added to the storage capacity of its main battery. For example, Renault’s Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogen is equipped with a 30-kWh battery coupled with an onboard hydrogen storage capacity equivalent to 29.7 kWh. Its range therefore increases from 230 kilometers to 370 kilometers (WLTP cycle). In this way, the hydrogen system can be seen as a “range extender”.
The icing on the cake is the refueling speed. As well as recharging on the grid, a maximum of ten minutes is enough to refill the hydrogen tank in order to supply the fuel cell — instantly increasing the vehicle’s range.And these aren’t the only advantages: the hydrogen-powered vehicle offers all the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, starting with the lack of engine noise, enjoyable driving experience, and access to restricted driving zones in certain city centers.
- Recharging a hydrogen-BATTERY powered vehicle:
How exactly is a hydrogen-powered electric vehicle recharged? The answer differs between manufacturers. At Renault, there are two ways of restoring the vehicle’s energy reserves. Firstly, recharging from a standard electric terminal to supply the lithium-ion battery (an option facilitated by the number of accessible charging stations.) Secondly, refueling at a hydrogen station to refill the gas tank takes just a few minutes – during the day, for example, when the driver needs to extend their trip.
Since 2015, three hydrogen-powered electric cars have been offered for sale from three different car companies: the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, the Hyundai Nexo SUV, and the Toyota Mirai.
- hydrogen VEHICLE (WITHOUT BATTERY POWER back up):
Hydrogen vehicles use only hydrogen fuel as their power source. Although this technology is being explored for rockets and other transport vehicles, it looks set to have the greatest impact on automobiles in the future.Hydrogen cars use hydrogen fuel as their power source. Although this technology is being exported for rockets and other transport vehicles, it looks set to have the greatest impact on automobiles in the future.The chemical energy of hydrogen is converted to mechanical energy through a REDOX (reduction/oxidation) reaction between hydrogen and oxygen within a specially developed fuel cell.
Road & Transport Minister Mr. Gadkari was spotted during March, 2022 riding as a passenger in the Toyota Mirai which is a hydrogen-powered vehicle brought to India for the pilot project – India’s first hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).
- concept & status of hydrogen fueled cell ELECTRIC vehicles:
Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier and can be produced with a low carbon footprint. Hydrogen can play seven major roles in the energy transformation, which span from the backbone of the energy system to the decarbonization of end-use applications as detailed below:
- Enabling the renewable-energy system by providing a means of long-term energy storage, hydrogen can enable a large-scale integration of renewable electricity into the energy system. It allows for the distribution of energy across regions and seasons and can serve as a buffer to increase energy-system resilience.
- Decarbonizing transportation -Today’s transportation sector depends almost entirely on fossil fuels and creates more than 20 percent of all CO2 Hydrogen-powered vehicles, with their high performance and the convenience offered by fast refueling times, can complement battery electric vehicles to achieve a broad decarbonization of transport segments.
- Decarbonizing industrial energy uses – In heavy industry, hydrogen can help decarbonize processes that are hard to electrify, in particular those requiring high-grade heat. Hydrogen can also be used in co generation units to generate heat and power for industrial uses.
- Decarbonizing building heat and power– In regions with existing natural-gas networks, hydrogen could piggyback on existing infrastructure and provide a cost-effective means of heating decarbonization.
- Providing clean feed stock for industry– Current uses of hydrogen as industry feed stock—amounting to more than 55 million tons per year—could be fully decarbonized. Hydrogen could also be employed to produce cleaner chemicals and steel, by being used as a chemical feed stock in combination with captured carbon and by being used as a reducing agent for iron ore.
Hydrogen Fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEVs)are car powered by hydrogen. Only water vapour and warm air come out. It is more efficient than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles and does not produce tailpipe exhaust fumes. HFCEVs use a propulsion system similar to electric vehicles, where energy stored as hydrogen is converted to electricity by a fuel cell.
Because green hydrogen can be produced from renewable energy and abundant biomass, the adoption and deployment of technologies that unlock the potential of green hydrogen will play a major role in ensuring that there is clean and affordable energy in future of India. Significance of Hydrogen Power cars is an important initiative to promote clean energy and environmental protection by reducing dependence on fossil fuels and making India ‘energy self-sufficient’ by 2047.
Hydrogen Fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEVs) powered by hydrogen are one of the best zero-emission solutions. Completely eco-friendly as there are no tailpipe emissions other than water.
Why is Hydrogen Used for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles?
- When hydrogen is burned, one kilogram of hydrogen releases almost three times as much energy as one kilogram of gasoline and only produces water.
- A hydrogen fuel cell, an electro chemical cell, can convert the chemical energy of hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and has only water as a waste product.
- Fuel cells can continue to create or produce electricity as long as hydrogen and oxygen are supplied.
A hydrogen vehicle is a vehicle that uses hydrogen fuel for motive power. Hydrogen vehicles include hydrogen-fueled space rockets, as well as ships and aircraft. Power is generated by converting the chemical energy of hydrogen to mechanical energy, either by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to power electric motors or, less commonly, by burning hydrogen in an internal combustion engine.
Like all-electric vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) use electricity to power an electric motor. In contrast to other electric vehicles, FCEVs produce electricity using a fuel cell powered by hydrogen, rather than drawing electricity from only a battery. During the vehicle design process, the vehicle manufacturer defines the power of the vehicle by the size of the electric motor(s) that receives electric power from the appropriately sized fuel cell and battery combination. Although automakers could design an FCEV with plug-in capabilities to charge the battery, most FCEVs today use the battery for recapturing braking energy, providing extra power during short acceleration events, and to smooth out the power delivered from the fuel cell with the option to idle or turn off the fuel cell during low power needs. The amount of energy stored onboard is determined by the size of the hydrogen fuel tank. This is different from an all-electric vehicle, where the amount of power and energy available are both closely related to the battery’s size. Instead of being powered by electricity stored in a battery, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles produce their electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in a fuel cell stack. Refueling their hydrogen tanks from a pump takes less than five minutes, and once on the road, drive enjoy smooth zero tailpipe emission journeys.
Key Components of a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Car:
Battery (auxiliary): In an electric drive vehicle, the low-voltage auxiliary battery provides electricity to start the car before the traction battery is engaged; it also powers vehicle accessories.
Battery pack: This high-voltage battery stores energy generated from regenerative braking and provides supplemental power to the electric traction motor.
DC/DC converter: This device converts higher-voltage DC power from the traction battery pack to the lower-voltage DC power needed to run vehicle accessories and recharge the auxiliary battery.
Electric traction motor (FCEV): Using power from the fuel cell and the traction battery pack, this motor drives the vehicle’s wheels. Some vehicles use motor generators that perform both the drive and regeneration functions.
Fuel cell stack: An assembly of individual membrane electrodes that use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity.
Fuel filler: A nozzle from a fuel dispenser attaches to the receptacle on the vehicle to fill the tank.
Fuel tank (hydrogen): Stores hydrogen gas onboard the vehicle until it’s needed by the fuel cell.
Power electronics controller (FCEV): This unit manages the flow of electrical energy delivered by the fuel cell and the traction battery, controlling the speed of the electric traction motor and the torque it produces.
Thermal system (cooling) – (FCEV): This system maintains a proper operating temperature range of the fuel cell, electric motor, power electronics, and other components.
Transmission (electric): The transmission transfers mechanical power from the electric traction motor to drive the wheels.
- HISTORY & PROGRESS OF HYDROGEN FUEL CELL VEHICLES/ carriers:
Initially a record of 207.297 miles per hour (333.612 km/h) was set by a prototype Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 Fuel Cell Race Car at the Bonneville Salt Flats, in August 2007, using a large compressed oxygen tank to increase power. The land-speed record for a hydrogen-powered vehicle of 286.476 miles per hour (461.038 km/h) was set by Ohio State University’s Buckeye Bullet 2, which achieved a “flying-mile” speed of 280.007 miles per hour (450.628 km/h) at the Bonneville Salt Flats in August 2008. In 2007, the Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation was formed as a racing organization for hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles. The organization sponsored the Hydrogen 500, a 500-mile race.
Automobiles, buses, forklifts, trains, canal boats, ships, aeroplanes, submarines, and rockets can run on hydrogen, in various forms. NASA used hydrogen to launch Space Shuttles into space. A working toy model car runs on solar power, using a regenerative fuel cell to store energy in the form of hydrogen and oxygen gas. It can then convert the fuel back into water to release the solar energy.
The Good News is Mahindra HyAlfa, the hydrogen internal combustion auto rickshaw, produced by the Indian company Mahindra and Mahindra Limited has completed the test run at Delhi long back. This Hydrogen auto rickshaw concept vehicles have been built by Mahindra HyAlfa,being first in the world, during FY 2012-13. The HyAlfa has been developed under a joint project by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ICHET), Mahindra & Mahindra and IIT-Delhi, with support from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. HyAlfa has been developed under the project name ‘DelHy 3w’. The HyAlfa being in its experimental stage having 15 models, first ply on the streets of the Pragati Maidan, at the venue of the 11th Indian Auto Expo during December, 2012. A special hydrogen refueling station had also been set up there at the ground specially for these auto rickshaws. Bajaj Auto also built Hydrogen auto rickshaw, in India.
Toyota launched the world’s first dedicated mass-produced fuel cell vehicle (FCV), the Mirai, in Japan at the end of 2014 and began sales in California, mainly the Los Angeles area and also in selected markets in Europe, the UK, Germany and Denmark later in 2015. The car has a range of 312 mi (502 km) and takes about five minutes to refill its hydrogen tank. The initial sale price in Japan was about 7 million yen ($69,000). Former European Parliament President, Pat Cox estimated that Toyota would initially lose about $100,000 on each Mirai sold. At the end of 2019, Toyota had sold over 10,000 Mirai vehicles till now. Many automobile companies have introduced demonstration models in limited numbers by this time.
Fuel-cell buses have been trialed by several manufacturers in different locations, for example, the Ursus Lublin, Solaris Bus & Coach introduced its Urbino 12 hydrogen electric buses in 2019. Several dozen were ordered. Hydrogen auto rickshaw concept vehicles have been built by Mahindra Hy Alfa and Bajaj Auto.
The Union Roads and Highways Authority recently launched a unique pilot project for hydrogen-based advanced fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), marking a major shift from fossil fuels to environmental protection. As India is moving towards Automotive Technological advancement with each passing day, it is really hard to say, “what is next?”
Battery electric vehicles are making headlines, but fuel cells are gaining momentum—with good reason. Hydrogen could play a vital role in the renewable-energy system and in future mobility.
But the main drawbacks noticed:
Vehicles running on hydrogen technology benefit from a long range on a single refueling, but are subject to several drawbacks: high carbon emissions when hydrogen is produced from natural gas, capital cost burden, low energy content per unit volume at ambient conditions, production and compression of hydrogen, the investment required to build refueling infrastructure around the world to dispense hydrogen, and transportation of hydrogen.
In 2022, the city of Montpellier, in France, cancelled a contract to procure 51 buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells, when it found that “the cost of operation for hydrogen [buses] is 6 times the cost of electricity driven vehicles”.There are also Fuel Cell buses, or Hydrogen aircraft are not expected to carry many passengers long haul before the 2030s at the earliest.
- Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (HFCEV)cars in India:
Almost every major automaker is preparing to launch a range of BEVs (battery electric vehicles) in the near to medium term, but hydrogen FCEVs are only in the nascent stage. Several significant hydrogen FCEV are launched globally and trials are scheduled – as given below:
Toyota has showcased the second-gen Mirai hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicle (FCEV) at the Auto Expo 2023. However, this is not the first time it has been brought to India. The carmaker had started a pilot project to evaluate the model for India back in March 2022.
The BMW iX5 used a hydrogen fuel cell electric drive jointly developed with Toyota. The vehicle’s drive system uses fuel cells to convert hydrogen stored in its two 700-bar tanks made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic into electricity. It delivers up to 125 kW (170 hp/168 hp) of electrical output. However, contrary to what some reports claim, this is not the most powerful fuel cell stack in the world (among passenger car models). The 128 kW (174 hp/172 hp) second-generation Toyota Mirai 330 cell fuel cell stack claims this title.
Ineos Grenadier hydrogen FCEV
Ineos Automotive formally declared in November 2020 that it has partnered with Hyundai Motor Company with JV to test a hydrogen fuel cell variant of the Ineos Grenadier. The announcement showed that Ineos Grenadier’s prototype hydrogen FCEV would most likely receive the second-generation fuel cell stack from the South Korean automaker, which currently powers Hyundai Nexo.
Hyundai Nexo 2023
The Hyundai Nexo is a hydrogen fuel cell-powered SUV Model
Hyundai Motor Company announced its dedication to becoming a carbon-neutral brand by 2045. At the 2021 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA 2021), announced the new Hyundai Nexo would be a face lifted version of the original model on sale. This model is expected to come in the second half of 2023 and will be more than just a visual refresh. Instead of Nexo’s 2nd generation fuel cell stack before the face lift, the new Nexo will feature the company’s all-new 3rd generation fuel cell stack, making it much more affordable.
Hyundai Staria Fuel Cell
The Hyundai Staria Fuel Cell made its first appearance in a teaser at the end of the Staria Digital World Premiere on April 13, 2021. The same announcement revealed that the Staria fuel cell will launch in the second half of 2023. After that, the MPV can get its 200kW version of the 3rd generation fuel cell stack, which is similar in size to the 2nd generation system but provides twice the power. Hyundai Motor Company claims to have developed its 200-kW version for commercial vehicle applications.
Kia FK / Hyundai FK
The Hyundai Motor Group revealed a new hydrogen FCEV concept called Vision FK at the Hydrogen Wave Forum. The company hasn’t revealed the brand, but it’s not the Genesis model. Instead, it’s likely a Kia FK (Kia Vision FK) because it looks like an evolved version of the Stinger.
Land Rover Defender Fuel Cell Vehicle
Jaguar Land Rover is planning to launch the Land Rover Defender hydrogen FCEV. The British carmaker has confirmed that it is developing a prototype for feasibility studies. A completely battery-powered electric variant of the Defender is reportedly developing, but an electric variant with a hydrogen fuel cell could complete it.
- LATEST ENTRANT – SANY’s Hydrogen fuel cell heavy truck released in china
Following hydrogen fuel cell construction vehicles, SANY’s first hydrogen-powered heavy truck has recently rolled off the line, becoming the newest member of SANY’s hydrogen product family. This hydrogen heavy truck belongs to the line of new energy vehicles as one of the ideal solutions to the looming global energy and environmental crisis. Liang Linhe, Chairman of SANY Heavy Truck, commented at the roll out ceremony that electric trucks will, for a certain period, co-exist with traditional petroleum-fueled trucks, but hydrogen power must become the “ultimate fuel” that will redefine the development trend of commercial trucks.
Specifically, its driving distance at a stretch exceeds 500 kilometers (310 miles), the longest among all similar models; its hydrogen consumption rate is as below 10 kg/100 km, the lowest in the industry; the use of lightweight technology gives the vehicle a weight of only 10.6 Tons, 3% lighter than other competing products; it’s operating at external temperature range in between -30°C to 50°C (-22°F to 122°F) – quite wide，there by giving the truck outstanding environmental and climatic adaptability. The first unit of their hydrogen fuel cell heavy truck was manufactured according to the strictest standards in China and is therefore positioned as a flagship model suitable for multiple scenarios including low-speed operation, ultra-short-distance transportation, port operation, and more. SANY expects to delve deeper into the field of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, boosting the development of fuel cell technology globally.
- SALIENT FEATURES OF INDIAN GOVERNMENT’S MOVE:
Indian government is taking major steps to move towards cleaner and affordable energy. Steps are being taken, such as –
- The central government is also considering using 2000 megawatts of solar and wind power capacity to produce hydrogen.
- Hydrogen auctions are being held to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as the industry is expected to use the technology to store electricity and even power cars.
- Companies such as fertilizers and oil refiners should source 10% of the hydrogen needs from domestic green hydrogen sources.
- The National Green Hydrogen Mission, with an outlay of INR 19,700 crore, has conveyed the Government’s focus on growing the Hydrogen economy in India, and also given a fillip to prospects of the energy source in the automotive industry.
- India has set an annual production target of 5 million MT green hydrogen to be achieved latest by 2030.
- Not that Hydrogen vehicles will start appearing on Indian roads from this year,but quite likely from 2025, if not next year, starting with commercial vehicles.
- Indian Oil bets on hydrogen vehicle for self-reliant future mobility:
Indian Oil, the nation’s largest refiner and fossil fuel retailer, wants to keep itself relevant to motorists in future should vehicles shift away from polluting fossil fuels under the combined pressure of climate change obligations and technological innovations. Their focus is on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle carrying a hydrogen tank and producing its own electricity, unlike other electric vehicles.
Indian Oil is putting its might behind hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as its raw materials can be sourced locally, in line with the recent government call for self-reliance, and as an alternative to lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles that could raise country’s dependence on import.In the last few years, it has experimented with building charging stations for battery electric vehicles. It is now embarking on a Rs 300-crore demonstration project for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
“Our forte is hydrogen production,” said SSV Rama Kumar, director (R&D) at Indian Oil. “We are the largest producer of hydrogen in the country. Our aim is to build the hydrogen economy and hydrogen distribution network.”
Refineries use hydrogen to reduce the Sulphur content of motor fuels. They mostly use natural gas and naphtha to produce hydrogen. Fuel cell vehicles carry a hydrogen tank and produce their own electricity, unlike other electric vehicles, which use battery charged from external sources. Hydrogen reacts with oxygen in the fuel cell to produce electricity that drives the motor and emits only water vapour.
It is reported that Indian Oil is seeking to purchase 15 fuel cell fitted buses for which a tender is out. “This is a local tender because we believe that if it is to be mass-adopted, it must be from auto OEMs or fuel cell technology providers, who can develop, manufacture or fabricate it in India. For hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, raw materials can be easily sourced indigenously. Given that prime minister has given a call for self-reliance, we thought hydrogen fuel cell-based mobility will be the ultimate green tech for the country- as the Battery Electrical Vehicles have their own challenges of inadequate charging facilities, battery technology, scarcity of battery raw materials in the country and recycling,” Rama Kumar said.
After Indian Oil receiving hydrogen buses, they set up four demonstration units for production of hydrogen, each with different production technology, and to identify which production pathway is most optimal.Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are being explored globally and have the potential to come on a par with battery electric vehicles in terms of cost in future when economies of scale are attained.
“The total cost of ownership of a hydrogen vehicle, including the capex, production and distribution of hydrogen, would be nearly the same as diesel-powered vehicles when equated on comparable volumes”, Rama Kumar said. This is subject to production of hydrogen using biomass, as per the study conducted by Indian Oil R&D at present.
“If we consider the overall well to wheel cycle, hydrogen fuel cell-based mobility works out to be 8-10% more efficient than battery-electric mobility, considering electricity used for charging the battery is from the coal-based grid. With one kg of fuel cell grade hydrogen, a vehicle can drive 5-6 times more as compared to CNG or diesel”, Rama Kumar added.
- Broker Marsh launches WORLD’S FIRST insurance for hydrogen projects:
Broker Marsh, a unit of Marsh & McLennan, has launched the world’s first dedicated insurance for hydrogen energy projects, as the nascent industry looks to scale up quickly in the fight against climate change.
- REQUIREMENT FOR INSURANCE OF Hydrogen Fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEVs):
Most important aspect is for sure with this phase of change – the one thing that every vehicle owner must need in their pocket is a trusted auto insurance policy. A smart auto insurance that shall cover the own damage for the insured vehicle from the start while facing various events, such as vehicle collisions and damage due to malfunctions during your travels, breakdown, natural and man-made disasters, etc.- all needs to be covered.But the Own Damage (OD) Premium of such vehicles may vary as per the size, cubic capacity, seating capacity and type of the vehicle; So, please visit the various WEBSITES of the Indian Insurers like PSUs, ACKO General Insurance Limited (the most successful on-line insurer on the very first year of operation), ICICI LOMBARD (the Private Sector giant), Bajaj Allianz (pioneer in Auto Insurance),TATA AIG, GO DIGIT, etc., or for product information /promotion sites like, Bima Bazar, Policy Bazar to name a few.
It may be noted that ‘Third Party Motor Insurance’ (Motor TP) is mandatory in India, as per the Motor vehicles Act (an Act of the Parliament of India which regulates all aspects of road transport vehicles and its amendments from time to time)to ply any vehicle on road, without which the owner/driver of the vehicle, if identified, would be punished with up to Rs. 5000 fine or up to 3 months of imprisonment or both.