New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launched India’s first green hydrogen-based advanced fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), Toyota Mirai, and said this is the first-of-its-kind project in India that aims to create an ecosystem for such vehicles in the country.
Speaking at the event, Gadkari said FCEV, powered by hydrogen, is one of the best zero-emission solutions.
It is completely environment-friendly with no tailpipe emissions other than water, the road transport and highways minister said.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor claimed that Toyota Mirai is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell battery pack and capable of providing a range up to 650 km in a single charge, with a refuelling time of five minutes.
In Japanese, the word ‘Mirai’ means ‘future’.
Gadkari said green hydrogen can be generated from renewable energy and abundantly available biomass.
He noted that the introduction and adoption of technology to tap into the green hydrogen’s potential will play a key role in securing a clean and affordable energy future for India.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), along with the International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT), is conducting a pilot project to study and evaluate the world’s most advanced FCEV Toyota Mirai, which runs on hydrogen, on Indian roads and climatic conditions.
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Power Minister R K Singh and Heavy Industries Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey were also present at the event.
Gadkari had previously said he will also start using the Toyota Mirai.
The company said Toyota Mirai was launched in 2014 and was one of the world’s first hydrogen fuel electric . ”Now, we are proud to introduce the second generation, with a 30 per cent increase in range, better handling and sharper styling,” Toyota said.
In an official statement, the road transport ministry had said India is committed to cleaner energy and a low-carbon pathway for achieving accelerated economic growth, according to the statement.
It had said hydrogen is a key element of the energy strategy and will play a key role in the low-carbon energy pathways.
The statement had noted that green hydrogen offers huge opportunities to decarbonise a range of sectors, including road transportation, and is gaining unprecedented momentum globally.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor in a statement said, ”We are very excited and grateful that the Minister of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has kindly consented to propagate the FCEV Mirai during this pilot study which is taking place at Delhi.” The company said it believes that this will provide great encouragement and a tremendous boost to all the stakeholders who are beginning to work towards the hydrogen-based society.
Also speaking on the occasion, Union Power Minister R K Singh said he has given a target to NTPC to start buses (which will run on hydrogen) from Delhi to Jaipur.