Part of a development project dubbed ‘DelHy 3w’, a fleet of 15 HyAlfa three-wheelers will run on an experimental basis at Pragati Maidan, where a hydrogen refuelling station has also been set up.
The India Trade Organisation Promotion (ITPO) will use the vehicles on an experimental basis.
HyAlfa has been developed under a joint project by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ICHET), Mahindra & Mahindra and IIT-Delhi, with support from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
“The aim of this project is to convert vehicles so that they can carry and use hydrogen — a carbon-free fuel — and thus remove all pollutants,” Mahindra & Mahindra President (Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors), Mr Pawan Goenka, told reporters here.
He said the vehicle is not yet ready for commercial production and further fine-tuning will be required before moving in that direction.
“Moreover, we also have to look at the commercial viability of running a hydrogen-powered three-wheeler as the cost of hydrogen will be around Rs 250 per kg, which is not affordable at all,” he said.
Asked about the possible price of HyAlfa, he said: “When the product is on mass production, it will cost Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 more than a CNG three-wheeler.”
On an average, a CNG three-wheeler costs close to Rs 2 lakh.
Commenting on the development, UNIDO-ICHET Managing Director, Mr Mustafa Hatipoglu, said the DelHy 3W project aims to demonstrate hydrogen technologies developed by Indian partners for the Indian transport sector.
Project coordinator, IIT-Delhi Professor L.M. Das, said HyAlfa marks a journey of 20 years from “laboratory to land’’.
ITPO Chairperson-cum-Managing Director, Ms Rita Menon, said the hydrogen-powered three-wheeler could play a role in moving towards a newer, sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transportation.
“We are happy to be a part of this project and are especially excited about the cargo version,” she said, adding that her organisation plans to submit a report within three months on the vehicle’s performance to the project organisers.