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Indian oil part of project on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

Inspired by government’s recent call for self-reliance, Indian Oil is embarking on a Rs 300-crore project for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as its raw materials can be sourced locally.  In contrast, lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles that could raise country’s dependence on import.

The company is seeking to purchase 15 fuel cell fitted buses, for which a tender is out. Unlike electric vehicles, which use battery charged from external sources, in fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen reacts with oxygen to produce electricity that drives the motor and emits only water vapour.

SSV Ramakumar, director (R&D) at Indian Oil explains “We are the largest producer of hydrogen in the country. Our aim is to build the hydrogen economy and hydrogen distribution network.” Hydrogen is used by refeneries to reduce the sulphur content of motor fuels.

The nation’s largest refiner and fossil fuel retailer is gearing up for a situation where vehicles shift away from polluting fossil fuels under the combined pressure of climate change obligations and technological innovations. This is not the first Indian oil venture towards a cleaner future; it has experimented with building charging stations for battery electric vehicles previously.