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Sustainable Transport: Indian Army partners with Indian Oil for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus

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In a sustainable step towards cleaner and greener transport solutions, the Indian Army has entered into a partnership with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for demonstration trials of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus technology.
“Earlier this week, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and the IOCL in presence of General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) and Mr Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Chairman of Indian Oil. The MoU aims at commitment to fostering innovation and advancing sustainable transport solutions for the future,” as per a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence.
During the event, Indian Oil presented a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus to the Indian Army. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus has a seating capacity of 37 passengers. It promises an impressive mileage of 250-300 km on a full 30 kg onboard tank of Hydrogen fuel.

What is Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology?

Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology offers a clean and efficient alternative by converting Hydrogen gas into electricity through an electro-chemical process. Under this process, by combining hydrogen and air in the presence of a catalyst, a fuel cell generates electricity to drive an electric motor, with water vapour as the only by-product, thus ensuring zero emission.

Indian Army procuring Electric Vehicles (EV)

However, this is not the first time that Indian Army is displaying its focus on innovation and environmental responsibility. The Indian Army in February this year, proposed to introduce phased induction of a limited number of Electric Vehicles in its ‘Peace Stations’ across the country. The aim and objectives are to adapt to latest technological advancements, give impetus to green energy and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The Indian Army will be inducting Light Electric Vehicles, Electric Buses and Electric Motor Cycles at peace stations.
The Indian Army is acquiring more than 110 electric vehicles (EVs) with an investment of about Rs 175 crore. Although currently introduced only in Delhi, there are plans to expand the fleet of EVs across other regions in the next few years. Another 60 electric buses, 415 electric cars, and 423 electric motorcycles are under various stages of procurement and are likely to be introduced by the end of 2025, as per reports.

Indian Army’s MoU with NTPCREL

On 21st March 2023, the Indian Army signed a MoU with National Thermal Power Corporation Renewable Energy Limited (NTPCREL) for installation of Green Hydrogen based Microgrid Power Plants along the Northern Borders. A pilot project is being setup at Chushul, where a 200 Kilo Watt Green Hydrogen based Microgram will provide 24×7 clean electricity to troops deployed in inhospitable terrain and extreme climatic conditions.