The six-month trial run of hydrogen-enriched CNG (HCNG) buses has begun in Delhi on October 20, 2020 with the inauguration of a HCNG plant and dispensing station at the Rajghat depot. The plant has been set-up by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) in collaboration with the transport department of Delhi. It has the capacity of producing four tonnes of the fuel per day.
The Delhi transport department has provided funds worth Rs 150 million for setting up the plant to conduct trial on the clean fuel. It has earmarked 50 cluster buses to hold demonstration trials for a period of six months. The switch from conventional fuel to HCNG requires minimum modifications to the existing buses.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has also notified HCNG as a fuel starting September 2020. The blended fuel had shown a reduction of 70 per cent in carbon monoxide and 25 per cent in hydrocarbon emissions as compared to baseline CNG according to the tests by the Automotive Research Association of India. Besides, as per the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA), the initial trials of the fuel have shown that it increases the vehicle’s fuel economy by 4-5 per cent. The periodic assessment of select buses’ performance on HCNG fuel will be undertaken by the International Centre for Automative technologies, Manesar. Upon completion of the trial period by April 2021, a detailed performance report will be submitted to the Supreme Court through EPCA.