Sentient Labs showcases made-in-India hydrogen fuel cell bus

The 32-seater hydrogen bus has a 450km range and uses 30kg of hydrogen to go the distance.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 15 Dec 2021 Views icon27353 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Pune-based R&D innovation firm Sentient Labs has demonstrated an indigenously developed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus. The start-up is incubated by KPIT Technologies which has collaborated with CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)-NCL (National Chemical Laboratory) and CSIR-CECRI (Central Electrochemical Research Institute) to develop the hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The start-up says its vision is to build technology solutions for sustainable mobility with a current focus on hydrogen-powered technologies. It has identified bottlenecks in battery technology, fuel cell tech, and technologies for hydrogen generation. The company is also working on what it says is world’s first technology that generates hydrogen directly from agricultural residue for use in fuel cell-powered vehicles. 

In addition to the hydrogen fuel cell technology, it also indigenously designed and developed from ground up other key components like balance of plant, powertrain, and battery pack. These components have been deployed on a 9-meter, 32-seater, air-conditioned bus. The e-bus is said to have a range of 450km utilising 30kg of hydrogen. A modular architecture allows for changes in the design to suit requirements of range and operating conditions. 

The fuel cell utilises hydrogen and air to generate electricity to power the bus. The only effluent from the bus is water, therefore making it possibly the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation. For comparison, a single diesel bus plying on long-distance routes typically emits 100-tonne of CO2 annually and there are over a million such buses in India.

Generating hydrogen from agri-waste can provide an alternative source of revenue to farmers, replacing diesel buses with Hydrogen Fuel Cell buses will improve air quality drastically and also reduce oil import costs.

Ravi Pandit, chairman, Sentient Labs said, "We are proud to launch an indigenously developed hydrogen fuel cell power bus. A strong technical team along with CSIR-NCL worked on several technology components. This will go a long way in powering Hydrogen Mission, AatmaNirbhar Bharat and importantly sustainable mobility. We envision that the solution will see wide-spread adoption powered by several partnerships. Our efforts will also be pivotal in enabling vehicle makers and suppliers to build a net-zero carbon path in India."

Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, member of Board of Directors, Sentient Labs said “World over, efforts related to green hydrogen revolution are on, but Sentient Labs stands out. At Sentient, challenges that are core to India are understood, and solutions are developed. Digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonisation is what India needs for sustainable mobility and these innovations from Sentient will go a long way.”

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