Expensive diesel and petrol may soon be a thing of past in near future as you would soon be able to ride in vehicles run on hydrogen-based fuel.
Tata Motors on Wednesday announced a concept model of its hydrogen-powered Starbus Fuel cell bus, it has developed in partnership with Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). “This vehicle has been designed for public transportation as its only emission is water vapour” said Ravindra Pisharody, executive director-commercial vehicles, Tata Motors.
The company had unveiled the technology at auto expo in 2012, in which hydrogen combines with oxygen to power the electric motor and gives out water and heat as a by-product. The technology is also said to be environmentally safe with ‘zero-emission’.
Company officials said the vehicle is about 50% more efficient than the conventional fuel-run vehicles, does not require external charging and has a driving range of up to 200 km. The fuel cell bus has been built on low entry platform with a ramp facility, pneumatic door operations among features.
The fuel cell technology that is being used in many countries, to run both passenger cars and public transportation. Over 100 fuel cell buses transport people in London while 50 are running in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
However, experts said a lack of hydrogen availability and related infrastructure can be a hurdle in commercial use of fuel cell vehicles. Also stronger equipment and vehicle body are needed to prevent hydrogen leakage.
Along with the concept fuel cell bus, the company showcased what it claimed to be the country’s first LNG bus, apart from electric, hybrid and articulated buses. The company has a large order of 25 Starbus Diesel series hybrid electric bus from Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, which it will deliver in the first quarter of the next fiscal. These fleet of buses are primarily be used to connect the financial hub of Bandra-Kurla Complex with suburbs of Sion, Bandra and Kurla and thereby improving the feeder services.
Ajit Jindal, head engineering, commercial vehicles, Tata Motors, said, “We have consistently been developing and manufacturing products that can contribute to CO2 reduction across all road segments.”