Army Chief gets hydrogen fuel cell bus for testing from IOC

The bus can seat 37 passengers and boasts an impressive range of 250-300 km on a full 30 kg tank of hydrogen fuel.

Army Chief General Manoj Pande has received a hydrogen-powered fuel cell bus from Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOC) for demonstration trials to explore the adoption of fuel cell technology for public transportation. The bus can seat 37 passengers and boasts an impressive range of 250-300 km on a full 30 kg tank of hydrogen fuel.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and the IOCL in presence of General Manoj Pande and  Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Chairman of Indian Oil. The official statement held that this marks the commencement of mutually beneficial partnership between Indian Army and IOCL. The MoU emphasised the commitment to fostering innovation and advancing sustainable transport solutions for the future.

During the handover event, General Pande emphasized the strong and enduring bond of trust between the Army and IOC, saying, “This relationship is built on an unbroken bond of trust between both of us and is based on a very solid foundation that has endured difficult, adverse conditions.”

He also expressed enthusiasm for advancing this partnership in alignment with the government’s new Green Hydrogen Mission of 2023. “I am glad that we’re now taking this to the next level. Based on the government’s new Green Hydrogen Mission, IOC has developed the technology for the production of green hydrogen. With the help of Tata Motors, we are now going to be testing one of the first 15 buses,” General Pande noted.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology offers a clean and efficient alternative by converting Hydrogen gas into electricity through an electro-chemical process. The process leaves water vapour as the only by product, thus ensuring zero emission.

Notably, on 21st March 2023, the Indian Army became the first government entity to ink an MoU with National Thermal Power Corporation Renewable Energy Limited for installation of Green Hydrogen based Microgrid Power Plants along the Northern Borders. A pilot project is being setup at Chushul, where a 200 Kilo Watt Green Hydrogen based Microgram will provide 24×7 clean electricity to troops deployed in inhospitable terrain and extreme climatic conditions.

The government has recently extended General Manoj Pande’s tenure by one month. Originally set to retire on May 31, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved this extension, allowing him to continue serving until June 30, 2024.

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