Mahindra launches a fleet of Hydrogen propelled three-wheelers at Pragati Maidan

10/01/2012 - 10:05 | ,  ,   | Shrawan Raja

DelHY 3W Mahindra Hy-AlfaUnder the project DELHY-3W, 15 hydrogen propelled three wheelers, a world’s first, was launched by Mahindra in the capital yesterday. It was complimented by a hydrogen refuelling station at the Pragati Maidan, around which the fleet will be operating. The three-wheeler in service is no different compared to the diesel-powered twin except the fact that the internal combustion engine is fed with hydrogen.

The project took 3 years to see daylight. It cost slightly more than 1 million US$, with 0.5 million US$ of co-funding from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) International Centre for Hydrogen energy Technologies (UNIDO-ICHET) based in Istanbul, Turkey to complete.

Hydrogen can easily replace the fossil fuel with a promise of cleaner and greener environment. The byproduct of burning hydrogen is water vapor and traces of NOx, hence being cleaner from well to wheel.

Hydrogen as a fuel and the technology are new and since they are applied in small numbers, their cost is higher than conventional fuels. If mass produced for a dynamic country like India, it might bring it down to a comparable cost of conventional fuels and greatly reduce pollution in urban cities like New Delhi and Mumbai where poor air quality costs residents millions in hospital bills.

This project was a joint venture of IIT, Delhi, Mahindra, Air Products, India Trade Promotion Organization, UNIDO, India, UNIDO-ICHET and UNIDO. Prof. L.M. Das of IIT, Delhi, has been working on this project for about 15-20 years now with Mahindra helping in development of hydrogen propelled vehicles.

The evaluation of these three-wheelers will take place over the next three months and the results will then be shared with us on the cost savings, fuel economy and other parameters.

There are just 19 hydrogen re-fuelling stations in the world. The London Olympics will see even extensive use of hydrogen as it will have a full fleet of hydrogen propelled buses running through the city. Hydrogen used in all these vehicles can be merchant hydrogen or it can be produced on site through natural gas reforming or electrolysis.

DELHY-3W Image Slideshow

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