New Delhi, March 30 Road and Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari, who has been advocating ‘green’ vehicles, arrived in a hydrogen-powered car at the Parliament on Wednesday. The minister made this point at a time when fuel prices have been gradually hiked as many as eight times over the last nine days.

Gadkari had launched India’s first hydrogen-based advanced fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) — Toyota Mirai — earlier this month and he used the same car to drive to the Parliament. “Green hydrogen — an efficient, ecofriendly and sustainable energy pathway to make India ‘energy self-reliant’,” the minister tweeted.

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Green fuel exporter

Toyota Mirai costs around ₹60 lakh through import route as the company does not manufacture it in India.

Gadkari, however, assured that green hydrogen will be manufactured in the country and refuelling stations will be established, thereby generating sustainable employment opportunities. He also said India will soon become a green hydrogen exporting country.

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Demonstrating the car, Gadkari also emphasised the need to spread awareness about hydrogen, FCEV technology and its benefits to support hydrogen-based society for India. The minister said it is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of clean and cutting-edge mobility in India, and the government’s ‘National Hydrogen Mission’ is committed to focus on green and clean energy.

Intervening in Rajya Sabha during the question hour, Gadkari said electric vehicles manufacturers are supposed to manufacture vehicles keeping in mind the international standards being followed all over the world, whether they manufacture electric, petrol, diesel, green hydrogen or any other fuel-run vehicle. 

“The safety standards are already fixed,” he said. Answering a question on registering a vehicle in BH Series, Gadkari said when a heroine starts taking up character roles, it becomes very difficult for her to go back as a heroine even if she wishes. “These are rules and regulations only for the new vehicles. For the old vehicles, it is very difficult mechanically to make them competent. It is the same for heroes too,” he said.

Come June and...
Gadkari arrives at Parliament in the green hydrogen-powered car

Gadkari arrives at Parliament in the green hydrogen-powered car | Photo Credit:

According to sources, Gadkari is using the car just as an example to promote the green technology and also there were some ‘fuel left’ in the in the ‘demo car’.

“The fuel can be refilled only at Indian Oil’s Faridabad plant currently, where pilot projects are happening. The car was filled with the fuel to run at least 150 km; so till the range is there, the minister will use the car occasionally,” a source close to the development told BusinessLine.

Additionally, regular supply of hydrogen and electrolyser (the device that uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen) will be available only from June, when the minister will use it regularly. Some hydrogen fuel stations would also come up by then,” the source added.

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Gadkari has also committed to regularise the supply of green hydrogen by June and some fuelling pumps, too, the source added.

According to auto experts, the Toyota Mirai has a range of around 600 km when filled with 2,500-3,000 bar of pressure of green hydrogen. However, the one Gadkari used was filled with a dispensing pump (available at IOC) which has a maximum pressure of 700 bar — so the range of around 160 km only.

Star rating

Meanwhile, Gadkari in the Rajya Sabha said there is a star rating already in place and the EV manufacturers are supposed to manufacture ‘vehicles as per standards’.

“They are supposed to manufacture vehicles keeping in mind the international standards being followed all over the world — whether they manufacture electric, petrol, diesel, green hydrogen or any other fuel-run vehicle — the safety standards are already fixed,” he said.

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