Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries on February 6 showcased a truck that runs on hydrogen, the cleanest known fuel whose tail emissions are only water and oxygen, at the India Energy Week here.
The Ashok Leyland manufactured truck with two large hydrogen cylinders was put up at a hall adjacent to the main venue where Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the three-day event that is themed around 'Growth, Collaboration, Transition'.
A display near the truck said this was "India's 1st H2ICE technology truck on road." The truck has "near-zero emissions" when it uses hydrogen as fuel in place of a conventional diesel or even recently introduced liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"H2ICE vehicle performance on-par with diesel ICE," it said.
H2 is the formula for hydrogen and ICE stands for internal combustion engine.
India is fast pushing for use of hydrogen, which can be produced by splitting water using electricity. The use of electricity generated from renewable sources such as solar and wind qualifies it to be green hydrogen.
Hydrogen finds wide applicability, from refineries to steel plants and fertilizer units where it can replace hydrocarbons. Hydrogen can also be used as fuel in automobiles but its current cost of manufacturing is very high. But this hasn't stopped companies from investing in hydrogen manufacturing.
Last month, billionaire Gautam Adani's group announced plans for a hydrogen truck.
In January, Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL), part of the diversified Adani portfolio of companies, signed an agreement to launch a pilot project to develop a hydrogen fuel cell electric truck (FCET) for mining logistics and transportation with Ashok Leyland, India, and Ballard Power, Canada.
The hydrogen-powered mining truck will weigh 55 tons, have three hydrogen tanks, a 200-km working range, and will be powered by Ballard's 120 kW PEM fuel cell technology.
The Adani Group had previously announced its plans to invest more than $50 billion over the next 10 years in green hydrogen and associated ecosystems corresponding to a capacity of up to 3 million tons of green hydrogen annually.
The oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance too is pivoting a green path, investing in renewable energy power generation as well as the entire hydrogen ecosystem as part of its decarbonisation plans.
Reliance is investing ₹6 lakh crore ($80 billion) in multiple green energy projects in Gujarat as part of the company's increasingly ambitious decarbonisation drive.
It will invest ₹5 lakh crore over the span of 10 to 15 years to set up a 100 GW renewable-energy power plant and green-hydrogen ecosystem development. It has started the process of scouting land for 100 GW renewable energy power projects in Kutch, Banaskantha and Dholera, and has requested 4,50,000 acres of land in Kutch.
The company will spend an additional ₹60,000 crore in setting up 'new energy manufacturing', which includes solar modules, electrolysers, batteries for energy storage and fuel cells.
Another ₹25,000 crore will be invested in existing projects and new ventures in the next three to five years.
Reliance 2021 first talked of a multi-billion investment plan spanning renewables, storage, and hydrogen, including what it claims will be the world's largest green energy equipment 'giga-complex' and a 100GW capacity goal.
The investment over three years would propel Reliance to net-zero emissions status by 2035.
At the display alongside the hydrogen truck, Reliance said the use of hydrogen results in 20% fuel operating expense saving over diesel ICE vehicles. It also results in 10-15% noise reduction over diesel ICE vehicles, it added.
Adani Group plans to invest $20 billion over the next decade in renewable energy generation and component manufacturing, with an aim to become "the producer of the least expensive green electron anywhere in the world".
It intends to triple its renewable-power generation capacity over the next four years, become a green-hydrogen producer, power all of its data centers with renewable energy by 2030, achieve net-zero emissions at its ports by 2025, and allocate more than 75% of capital expenditure up to 2025 on green technologies.