In a first, state-run power generator NTPC has started a three-month long trial run for hydrogen-fired buses in Leh as part of its efforts towards achieving a carbon-neutral Ladakh.

The country’s largest power generator is setting up a hydrogen fuelling station, solar plant and providing five fuel cell buses for operation on intracity routes in Leh. This project would be the first deployment of fuel cell Electric Vehicles (EVs) for public use in India.

“The first hydrogen bus reached Leh on August 17 as part of a 3-month-long process of field-trials, road worthiness tests, and other statutory procedures. This will be India’s first-ever deployment of hydrogen buses on public roads, the Maharatna said.

The first of its kind green hydrogen mobility project at 11,562 feet (above sea level) is co-located with a dedicated solar plant of 1.7 megawatt (MW) for providing renewable power.

The fuel cell buses are designed for operation in sub-zero temperatures in rarefied atmosphere, typical to such altitude locations which is a unique feature of this project.

NTPC is committed to achieve 60 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2032 and be a major player in green hydrogen technology and energy storage domain.

The company is taking up several initiatives towards decarbonisation such as Hydrogen blending, Carbon Capture, EV buses, Smart NTPC Townships etc.

NTPC has been aggressively pushing for greening its portfolio and the green hydrogen project is another step towards achieving a low carbon footprint. NTPC has also been promoting usage of green hydrogen based solutions in sectors like mobility, energy, chemical, fertiliser, steel etc.