By Ravi Pandit
I’ve been a robust proponent of hydrogen-driven transportation for a few years. And every time I spoke of it, I used to be reminded of the well-known quip “Hydrogen is the fuel of the longer term… and shall all the time be!”
Nicely, it appears that evidently the longer term is lastly right here! The Authorities of India lately introduced the Hydrogen Mission and has offered vital outlays. That brings the full tally of nations launching hydrogen missions to 43, protecting a really massive a part of the worldwide inhabitants. So actually, hydrogen is right here and now!
After we deal with the query of how hydrogen shall be a ‘game-changer’, we actually must reply a set of questions. What’s the present sport? And what wants to vary in that sport? What are the important thing parts or constructing blocks of hydrogen know-how? Will this know-how be protected? Will it’s cost-effective particularly for the Indian market? What may very well be the contours of the brand new sport and what does it imply to us right here in India or to the world?
Massive questions however actually crucial and related. I want to deal with them right here in an article sequence of three elements.
Allow us to take a look at the present state of transportation in India. Final 12 months we imported 212 million tonnes of crude oil amounting to USD 119 billion, (nearly 85% of our oil demand). Many of the gasoline demand comes from the mobility sector. This import was the one largest drain on our overseas alternate (26% of our whole imports).
Furthermore, India now is among the greatest emitters of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) on the earth. This has additionally led to a rise in air pollution ranges of the nation. Based on the World Air High quality Report 2021 by IQAir, India is residence to 35 of the 50 most polluted cities on the earth. Air air pollution has a large impression on human well being in India. It’s the second greatest danger issue for illness, and the financial value of air air pollution is estimated to exceed USD 150 billion yearly. Successfully, the present fossil fuel-based system of transportation has issues from environmental, nationwide safety and nationwide financial system views.
There’s, therefore, a must make a transformational change within the Indian mobility sector. We want transportation which is cleaner, safer, linked and safe. In a broader sense, we want a mobility system which is really sustainable i.e., environmentally delicate, economically viable (not relying on authorities subsidies past an preliminary incubation interval) and socially acceptable (one which helps all sections of the society).
There is no such thing as a various to electrification of the mobility sector if we wish to shift in direction of a cleaner and sustainable mode of transportation. I imagine that many of the city transportation will run on battery electrical. We’re already seeing motion to electrical scooters, three-wheelers and buses. Within the subsequent 5 to 10 years, the vast majority of the city autos bought shall be electrical. Improvement of latest battery chemistries will play a significant position on this transition. With the developments within the battery applied sciences, electrical autos shall be cheaper than the polluting diesel/petrol autos.
Gasoline cell electrical autos
The transformation of city mobility shall be ruled by battery electrical autos. However this resolution won’t be appropriate for lengthy distance intercity mobility as weight and charging requirement will constrain the load carrying capability and travelling vary of the car. Right here gasoline cell electrical autos (FCEVs) could have a task to play in electrification of mobility. FCEVs use hydrogen as a supply of power. Hydrogen is a perfect gasoline for the long-distance commute as it’s carbon-free and when utilized in gasoline cells, gives two instances extra the power effectivity than the conventionally-fueled autos.
Nonetheless, transition to Hydrogen electric transportation would require work on 4 key elements of the Hydrogen worth chain: era, storage/transportation, dispensation and consumption. These represent the ecosystem for hydrogen.
Until all of the 4 are in place the ecosystem won’t work. This requires a significant infrastructure transformation – just like the instances when the shift occurred from animal-powered transportation to gasoline-based transportation – higher roads, community of gasoline pumps, upkeep infrastructure, and so on. Or once we began harnessing hydro-electric energy, building of dams, organising energy era vegetation and laying transmission cables needed to be invested in. Such infrastructure adjustments improved the standard of life for all. Equally, transition to electrical mobility is also a possibility to create a very new infrastructure which shall be greener, safer and safer.
Of the 4 elements of the ecosystem, in all probability era is crucial half. We will flip to that within the second a part of this text. Watch this house.
(Ravi Pandit is the co-founder and Chairman of KPIT Applied sciences. Kaustubh Pathak, Expertise Lead, KPIT Applied sciences, additionally contributed to this text. Views are private.)