India launches first hydrogen fuel cell bus service in Leh

Tags: State News

India's first hydrogen fuel cell bus service begins in Leh, marking the first commercial trial of this futuristic technology on public roads.

An Overview of the News 

  • Leh, located in the high-altitude cold desert of Ladakh, will host this innovative project.

  • The venture is being executed by NTPC, India's largest power-generating company.

  • NTPC is supplying five hydrogen fuel cell buses to Leh Administration for intra-city movement.

  • The company has set up a fueling station and a 1.7 MW captive solar plant to generate green hydrogen, which will be used to power buses.

  • 7.5 acres of land have been given on lease in Leh for infrastructure development.

Ashok Leyland Participation:

  • Ashok Leyland is the supplier of the buses, each costing around Rs 2.5 crore.

  • The purchase was made under a global expression of interest issued in April 2020.

Rent Equity and NTPC's Commitment:

  • Passenger fares for using the hydrogen fuel cell buses will reflect the cost of travel on the 9-meter diesel buses currently in operation.

  • According to a statement from a company official, NTPC has promised to meet any financial shortfall in case of losses.

Salient Features of the NTPC Project:

  • NTPC's project assumes significance for two reasons. Firstly, it marks the debut of commercially deployed hydrogen fuel cell buses on Indian public roads.

  • Second, it is an unprecedented test of technology at altitudes above 11,500 feet, where the atmosphere is thin and oxygen levels are low.

Funding and Technical Lead:

  • NTPC is funding the project through its CSR budget.

  • The driving force behind this initiative is Gurdeep Singh, Chairman, of NTPC, who is committed to keeping NTPC at the forefront of energy transformation by adopting emerging technologies.

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