Indian Oil is putting its might behind hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as its raw materials can be sourced locally, in line with the recent government call for self-reliance, and as an alternative to lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles that could raise country’s dependence on import.
Indian Oil, the nation’s largest refiner and fossil fuel retailer, wants to keep itself relevant to motorists in future should vehicles shift away from polluting fossil fuels under the combined pressure of climate change obligations and technological innovations. In the last few years, it has experimented with building charging stations for battery electric vehicles. It is now embarking on a Rs 300-crore demonstration project for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
“Our forte is hydrogen production,” said SSV Ramakumar, director (R&D) at Indian Oil. “We are the largest producer of hydrogen in the country. Our aim is to build the hydrogen economy and hydrogen distribution network.”
Refineries use hydrogen to reduce the sulphur content of motor fuels. They mostly use natural gas and naphtha to produce hydrogen.