When everyone is vying for a better tomorrow and the denizens of the capital of India are desperate to breathe clean air, this is a pertinent question! While the renouncement of conventional vehicles is on the way, Hydrogen and Electric cars are leading the clean air race, albeit with certain limitations. Fuel economy, controlling emission, shrinking fuel supply, and cleaner transport are the driving forces behind the greener options.

At the moment – As we all know, the contribution of vehicular pollution to greenhouse gas emission is tremendous all over the world. Recently New Delhi’s pollution status awakened all, forcing the Supreme Court to direct Delhi govt to look at the feasibility of hydrogen technology as a sustainable option. Globally, while China and the US are seeing an EV-based future, Japan and Korea are strongly favouring hydrogen. However, EVs are leading the present global market with millions of EVs on-road and approximately 100 new launches just this year! At the same time, Japanese companies are pushing hard for global hydrogen mobility and have an able supporter in India’s Niti Ayog.

HV vs EV – Vehicles are universally evaluated by their competence in energy consumption, performance and emission ability. Right now fossil fuels are the source of both electricity and hydrogen. But in a forced climatic condition both kinds have to be extracted from renewable sources and zero carbon energy mediums like hydropower, nuclear and biomass. HVs are not fruitful in a zero carbon electricity world as they will need electricity to produce hydrogen. EVs, on the other hand, are able to use energy from the grid directly.

HVs are particularly suited for long distance travel and larger vehicles whereas EVs are perfect for everyday commute and light vehicle market.

HVs need separate infrastructure while EVs can be charged anywhere with minimal changes in the existing electricity system.

HV Infrastructure cost is much less when compared to EVs. So, if we have to question why do we need a new base to run cars when we have a readymade one to use, then considering function, cost, energy conversion and current fuel mix, EVs will be more desirable for a cleaner mobility in future.

Conclusion – Though BEVs are predicted to be an obvious choice for the price conscious Indian market, but cell manufacturing, availability of raw materials and supply can be a huge obstacle for them to dominate the green mobility market in our country. Hence, Hydrogen powered fuel cell EVs could become a successful technology in the next phase of electrification in our country. If the advantages and issues of both the fuel driven technologies are considered and addressed then complementing each other both EVs and FCEVs can give India a pollution free sustainable drive.

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