ARAI to invest Rs 500 crore to enhance infra; H2ICE testing likely from 2025

The investment over the next 4-5 years will go towards setting up testing infrastructure for hydrogen-internal combustion engine-powered vehicles, construction equipment, and safety technologies.

By Kiran Murali and Amit Vijay M calendar 05 Jun 2024 Views icon2438 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
ARAI to invest Rs 500 crore to enhance infra; H2ICE testing likely from 2025

The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) aims to invest an additional Rs 500 crore over a four to five-year period, as it looks to improve testing infrastructure.

This investment by India’s vehicle testing and certification agency will go towards establishing testing infrastructure for hydrogen-internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered vehicles and construction equipment, besides  additional safety technologies.

The Pune-based agency already has testing capabilities for ethanol 20 fuel-compliant vehicles. The Rs 500-crore-investment is on top of Rs 230 crore, which ARAI is already spending for infrastructure on safety technologies such as advanced driver assistance systems.

“For the next four to five years, we have thought of almost Rs 500 crore across to be put in place so that the facilities needed are there,” Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) Director Reji Mathai, while speaking at a world environment day event organised by SIAM.

Hydrogen ICE vehicle testing and certification likely next year

Hydrogen ICE vehicles are at a nascent stage in India, but commercial vehicle makers are looking at hydrogen ICE trucks for long-haul and heavy-duty uses, given their potential to provide better total cost of ownership advantage over diesel engines.

“For hydrogen testing, we will have our capabilities ready within six months," Mathai said. 

He expects the agency's testing capabilities to be operational next year, upon getting the necessary approvals from the government.

Auto component major Bosh Ltd recently projected a penetration of 10-15 percent in the Indian truck market by the end of this decade. Last year, Ashok Leyland and Reliance Industries introduced India’s first hydrogen ICE-powered heavy-duty truck.

The government of India has a scheme under the National Green Hydrogen Mission to support the development of technologies to use green hydrogen as a fuel in buses, trucks, and four-wheelers, based on fuel cell-based propulsion technology or internal combustion engine-based propulsion technology.

Recently, Autocar Professional exclusively reported that ARAI has received 13 technical bids for pilot projects for the use of green hydrogen in the transport sector. ARAI, the implementing agency for these projects, is currently conducting a technical evaluation of the proposals.


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