Commercial vehicle market leader Tata Motors has won a tender for 15 hydrogen-based proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell buses from Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL).
IOCL had invited bids for supply of PEM fuel cell buses in December 2020 and Tata Motors was selected as the winner following a diligent evaluation process. All 15 buses will be delivered within 144 weeks from the date of signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
In addition to supplying the buses to IOCL’s R&D Centre, Tata Motors will also collaborate with them to undertake R&D projects and collectively study further the potential of fuel cell technology for commercial vehicles. This will be done by jointly testing, maintaining and operating these buses for public transport in real-world conditions in Delhi-NCR. The buses will be refuelled by hydrogen, generated and dispensed by IOCL.
According to S M Vaidya, Chairman, Indian Oil, the oil marketing company has been pioneering the national efforts towards ushering in the hydrogen economy for various applications, including mobility. This first-of-its-kind project in India brings the country’s largest fuel supplier and largest CV manufacturer on board to take the hydrogen and fuel cell technology to the next level. This initiative would also act as a stepping stone for various other key programs of Indian Oil, which proposes to introduce hydrogen-based mobility on different iconic routes and important sectors in the country.
Commenting on the new business order, Girish Wagh, President, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors said, “We are delighted to win this prestigious tender from IOCL for it adds to Tata Motors’ rich legacy of introducing future-ready technologies for cleaner and greener public transport. We have successfully supplied 215 EV buses under FAME I and won orders for 600 EV buses under FAME II. This order to supply PEM Fuel Cell buses from Indian Oil Corporation further encourages our ongoing efforts on developing India-focused alternative sustainable fuels to transform the future of mobility in India.”
Dr. SSV Ramakumar, Director (R&D), Indian Oil said that a lot of hard work has been put in by the Indian Oil R&D team towards conceiving, planning and executing this joint developmental-cum- demonstration program with a strong support from Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. Indian Oil, through cutting-edge R&D, is committed to strengthen the production and supply chain of hydrogen energy in India and would be setting up an around 1 ton per day hydrogen production pilot plants based on four innovative pathways besides collaborating with Tata Motors for fuel cell research.