- As the world navigates towards greener energy alternatives, hydrogen-powered vehicles are getting more attention.
- Hydrogen engines look, sound and work like internal combustion (IC) engines making it easier to incorporate them into the regular architecture of a heavy-duty truck.
- Reliance plans to increase the supply of hydrogen to buses and taxis.
The India Energy Week 2023, in Bengaluru, was witness to a historic milestone in India’s journey towards green energy alternatives. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Ashok Leyland together unveiled India’s first hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2-ICE) powered heavy-duty truck.
Powered by hydrogen with its overall architecture similar to a conventional diesel-based combustion engine, the H2-ICE heavy-duty truck range (19-35 tonnes) has been under test since August 2022. Ashok Leyland and RIL had been working on this technology over the past year.
Medium and heavy-duty trucks are a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. Hydrogen internal combustion engines and hydrogen fuel cells can power vehicles using hydrogen, which is a zero-carbon fuel.
Hydrogen engines are very attractive to end users as they look, sound and work like internal combustion engines making it easier to incorporate them into the regular architecture of a heavy-duty truck. Most of them can be used with lower-grade hydrogen as well.
Last year in December, the Economic Times reported that Ashok Leyland would install fuel-cell engines in an existing fleet of 45,000 trucks that RIL has hired to transport refined products and other marketing goods as a first stage in developing the hydrogen-powered engines.
The report also mentioned that Reliance intended to manufacture green hydrogen at its refinery facility in Jamnagar, from 2025. Reliance had planned to increase the supply of hydrogen to the greater automobile market, especially for buses and taxis, the report said.
Ashok Leyland has been making big strides in no-emission vehicles. Last week, the company’s electric vehicle subsidiary, Switch Mobility, delivered the first set of 22 electric double-decker buses, out of an order of 200 units, to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), Mumbai.