Tata Motors has taken significant steps and has been leading in the development of Hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Tata Showcase Early Prototype of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Bus
Amidst an earnest global movement towards shifting to cleaner fuels and alternative energy sources, nations across the world have committed themselves to reach the net-zero emissions goal in the next few decades. The Government of India too has set an ambitious target of reducing the emissions intensity of its economy by 45 per cent by 2030. Against this backdrop, hydrogen fuel cell technology is emerging as a promising alternative for replacing fossil fuels. With industries and sectors across the country now making strides to deploy hydrogen as a source of energy in the automobile sector, Tata Motors has taken significant steps and has been leading in the development of Hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The company had been working on a fuel cell technology demonstrator vehicle project, conceptualised in association with the Government of India as part of the Technology Development and Demonstration Program (TDDP). Collaborated with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) during its development for system integration, testing, and certification.
Apart from that, a dedicated lab for this technology has been instituted by Tata Motors in Pune. Prior to this, the lab was in Bengaluru where the company collaborated with ISRO and the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) to work on the technology.
Other efforts include Tata Motors has also developed its hydrogen handling and onboard storage capability, along with the associated safety system. This has been done through meticulous design, integration, simulations, testing, and multiple prototypes of this program have undergone various evaluations across the country. It has built a dedicated hydrogen dispensing station and test track at Sanand to test fuel cell buses.
In June 2021, the company was awarded a tender for the supply of 15 Hydrogen-based proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell buses from the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL). This tender includes a commitment to deliver within 144 weeks from the date of signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Commenting on the sustained work on hydrogen fuel cell technology, Rajendra Petkar, President & CTO, Tata Motors said, “As an industry pioneer, Tata Motors has been at the forefront of the Indian automotive sector’s drive towards clean and green emissions and the Engineering Research Centre (ERC) has had sharp focus on fuel cell technology since last many years. We have been systematically researching, developing & evaluating the hydrogen fuel cell technology, while closely working with our strategic partners. Over 40 people in the company are presently working on this technology and our last tender win with IOCL testifies to the impactful and tangible steps we are taking in bringing this technology to the mainstream. We remain certain that hydrogen has the potential to meet targets for Net Zero & Sustainability and our efforts in this space will make us a preferred choice for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the future as well.”