India is set to get its very own ‘green’ car with Tata Motors and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) teaming up to launch a vehicle that will run on hydrogen, leaving behind only water vapour as exhaust. The car, which has been on Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata’s mind since 2005, is expected to hit the roads by 2008.
An agreement for the pilot project to test hydrogen as a viable automobile fuel has been signed and work has started, said ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair in Bangalore. “Tata Motors is working on or supporting the development of alternate fuels, including bio-fuels and hydrogen,” said a Tata Motors spokesperson.
According to industry watchers, the new vehicle would be completely driven by electricity instead of an engine. “Hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen will combine in the fuel cell to produce the electricity,” said Nair.
While ISRO will handle the technological aspects, like storage and handling of fuels, Tata will manufacture the cars. Analysts, however, feel that the car will come at a substantial cost. “A hydrogen-powered vehicle would be costlier and a large number of hydrogen fuel stations will have to be built,” said an auto analyst.
Toyota, BMW, General Motors and Hyundai already have their own hydrogen-powered cars.