Hydrogen-powered three-wheeler ‘HyAlfa’ makes debut

PTI New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017

Mr Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra and Mahindra, launching the hydrogen-powered three-wheeler 'HyAlfa' at the 11th Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: S. Subramanium   -  The Hindu

The world’s first hydrogen-powered three-wheeler, ‘HyAlfa’, was showcased at the 11th Auto Expo here today.

Part of a development project dubbed ‘DelHy 3w’, a fleet of 15 HyAlfa three-wheelers will run on an experimental basis at Pragati Maidan, where a hydrogen refuelling station has also been set up.

The India Trade Organisation Promotion (ITPO) will use the vehicles on an experimental basis.

HyAlfa has been developed under a joint project by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ICHET), Mahindra & Mahindra and IIT-Delhi, with support from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Carbon-free fuel

“The aim of this project is to convert vehicles so that they can carry and use hydrogen — a carbon-free fuel — and thus remove all pollutants,” Mahindra & Mahindra President (Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors), Mr Pawan Goenka, told reporters here.

He said the vehicle is not yet ready for commercial production and further fine-tuning will be required before moving in that direction.

“Moreover, we also have to look at the commercial viability of running a hydrogen-powered three-wheeler as the cost of hydrogen will be around Rs 250 per kg, which is not affordable at all,” he said.

CNG three-wheeler

Asked about the possible price of HyAlfa, he said: “When the product is on mass production, it will cost Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 more than a CNG three-wheeler.”

On an average, a CNG three-wheeler costs close to Rs 2 lakh.

Commenting on the development, UNIDO-ICHET Managing Director, Mr Mustafa Hatipoglu, said the DelHy 3W project aims to demonstrate hydrogen technologies developed by Indian partners for the Indian transport sector.

Project coordinator, IIT-Delhi Professor L.M. Das, said HyAlfa marks a journey of 20 years from “laboratory to land’’.

ITPO Chairperson-cum-Managing Director, Ms Rita Menon, said the hydrogen-powered three-wheeler could play a role in moving towards a newer, sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transportation.

“We are happy to be a part of this project and are especially excited about the cargo version,” she said, adding that her organisation plans to submit a report within three months on the vehicle’s performance to the project organisers.

Published on January 09, 2012

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