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Old 14th November 2019, 11:19   #1
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Default Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

The Supreme Court of India has suggested the Government to explore the feasibility of hydrogen fuel vehicles to curb pollution in the national capital.

Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles-hydrogen.jpg

According to media reports, the court's suggestion has received a skeptical response from the industry as there are numerous factors that make hydrogen unfeasible for the Indian market in the current scenario.

While Hydrogen fuel vehicles can be re-fueled within minutes, handling the fuel is tricky. Hydrogen-powered vehicles cost significantly more than electric vehicles. Besides that, the running costs are said to be four times that of petrol powered cars.

Large scale commercial use of hydrogen fuel vehicles has not been witnessed anywhere in the world. Even in markets like China, Japan and South Korea, sales of hydrogen fuel vehicles has been negligible.

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Last edited by TusharK : 14th November 2019 at 11:20.
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Old 14th November 2019, 14:03   #2
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

Hydrogen as a fuel for Internal combustion engine or Hydrogen in Fuel cell?
Hydrogen is actually quite hazardous substance and produces an invisible flame.
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Old 14th November 2019, 14:34   #3
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

I don't have a judgement about the future of Hydrogen fuel for cars. Its 0 emissions which is a big positive. But pretty much everything else is a big negative! Storage, handling & carrying it around in a car that also has our toddler kid in many cases - is a big risk! At least at first thought - this risk outweighs the 0 emissions dream...

On a totally different track, I'm starting to get confused about our judiciary. I grew up thinking the legal system tells whats right, whats wrong & who takes the blame as per the book - when they are asked.

Off late - we are seeing the judiciary actually giving directions to offices...I need to go back to my civics books. Thankfully have kept school books even 20 years on!
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Old 14th November 2019, 15:00   #4
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

Here are a few reasons why hydrogen won't work :-

1) Most of the hydrogen presently used comes from natural gas - a fossil fuel and it requires electricity to produce this hydrogen (which in India is mostly from coal).

2) Hydrogen can be produced from water but still electricity will be required.

3) Basically hydrogen is used to store electricity instead of batteries since we use electricity to produce hydrogen and then produce electricity back from the fuel cell. But only 50% of the electricity is recovered!

4) Hydrogen is extremely combustible (remember the Hindenburg disaster?)

5) Fuel cell tech in cars hardly get 1/20th of the R&D funding as compared to battery tech. Batteries in cars are too big to fail considering how much money companies have poured into it.

6) There are far more fast charging points for cars than hydrogen stations in almost all countries.

7) The primary benefit of hydrogen is that it can be filled up quickly like petrol. But battery charging times are fast catching up (eg: Porsche Taycan with 350w charging).

8) The technology and acceptance of hydrogen fuel cell cars are way behind the (superior) battery tech.

9) The only application is in long distance buses, trucks and maybe in the distant future for airplanes.
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Old 15th November 2019, 13:53   #5
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

Yet another example of the court not having a clue of what it's talking about. Hydrogen is a pipe dream (pun intended ) in India. Even in the USA, it flopped, despite serious efforts by some people. The only believer of hydrogen as a fuel today is Toyota.

I feel the right way forward for India will be hybrids (proper ones, not the rubbish SHVS by Maruti), then electric. Proper hybrids won't pollute in dense traffic conditions if they run on electric power (like the Camry can).
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Old 16th November 2019, 13:30   #6
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

While using Hydrogen as a fuel in a automobile is fraught with challenges, there are people working in the direction to safely and cheaply extract Hydrogen , which also happens to be one of the most abundant elements. Here are two such instances that show promise. 1. 2.

To quote from the first article
Quote:
By 2050, the national government aims to get almost all of the Netherlands' energy requirements from sustainable sources, such as the sun or the wind. Because these energy sources are not available at all times, it is important to be able to store the generated energy. Given their low energy density, batteries are not suitable for storing very large amounts of energy. A better solution is chemical bonds, with hydrogen as the most obvious choice of gas. Using water, an electrolyzer converts (an excess of) electrical energy into hydrogen, which can be stored. At a later stage, a fuel cell does the opposite, converting the stored hydrogen back into electrical energy. Both technologies require a catalyst to drive the process
If they figure it out, and make it a commercial success, we may yet see Fuel Cell Technology, which lends itself to applications other than automobile sector get better, more efficient and cheaper. This will contribute in no insignificant way in providing clean , sustainable energy and reducing our carbon footprint.

Cheers !

Articles Courtesy : www.phys.org, www.weforum.org
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Old 16th November 2019, 19:49   #7
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

It amazes me how our honourable judges, most of whom are arts graduates, consider themselves capable of opining on technical subjects. The tendency for the judiciary to abuse its power under Article 142 to interfere in areas that are in the domain of the Executive is distressing and not good for a Constitutional Democracy. We are not going to see hydrogen powered cars anywhere in the next 10-15 years, whether our sainted judges want them or not
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Old 16th November 2019, 21:25   #8
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
It amazes me how our honourable judges consider themselves capable of opining on technical subjects.
If ever there was walking talking proof of the Dunning-Kruger effect, this would have to be it.
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Old 17th November 2019, 08:00   #9
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

I think it'd would be a good move. One doesn't become expert in any field of technology by simply imitating the others. We have the chance to be leaders here.

It's true there are challenges to overcome and barriers to bring down - nothing unusual about it. That's how aviation safety has evolved over time; that's how nuclear safety has evolved over time; that's how we are today safely using AC power at homes/offices etc...among many such case examples.

There is of course the added advantage that much of the tests - safety and operational - can be performed in non-fatal ways and time-frames much smaller than what was previously possible.

I would be happy if they aggressively push for it while at the same time adopt the state of the current art technology as well - that of EV.
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Old 17th November 2019, 09:10   #10
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

The quality of judges we have these days (I am saying this out of first hand experience), they are barely able to get a grip on the Constitution and now they want to get in to Sci-Tech? Why don't they just do their work let others do what they are good at!!



I won't lug around with hydrogen in my boot. Heck, I am scared to carry LPG forget Hydrogen!!
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Old 17th November 2019, 09:40   #11
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

Supreme Court has suggested, not directed. Agreed the SC may not understand the factors involved, but the intent is not to taunt or chide the industry with a contemptuous view.

While I have seen and experienced that the operating efficacy & functioning method of the Judiciary as a whole are extremely unfair to citizens, it is the only institution that can authoritatively speak truth to power/establishment.

Kindly change the title of the thread.
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Old 17th November 2019, 19:27   #12
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

Another classic statement of judicial over reach issuing orders and instructions on deeply technical subjects about which no matter how intelligent a learned judge is he or she cannot know enough to issue instructions to the executive or the industry. This tendency amongst some learned judges has arisen over the last decade due to the executive simply not displaying the initiative and thus leaving a vacuum.
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Old 17th November 2019, 20:02   #13
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

The Supreme Court had ordered the Government to explore Hydrogen vehicles.. Maybe I'm being pessimistic but India has been so slow in the adoption of electric vehicles, and the SC is giving suggestions to check out another fuel source?
I think the government should first focus towards electric vehicles, improve it's infrastructure and give subsidies before exploring other power sources.
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Old 17th November 2019, 21:00   #14
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This "new direction" from Supreme Court is akin to "throwing all possible ideas on the wall and seeing what sticks". Having currently spent approx. 3 years now in Delhi, from my observations, I can say that rampant construction, commercial vehicles which do not have a PUC ( I can see many commercial vehicles including Delhi Transport low floor buses, auto, tempo, trucks etc) contribute to pollution than any private vehicles - which are periodically serviced. While government has not displayed any initiative on this, I can see huge queues even at CNG stations across Delhi NCR. I don't know how court or government can think of alternate fuels like electric charging stations, hydrogen fuel etc., when even existing "cleaner" fuels like CNG are also not widely available.

Last edited by Eddy : 17th November 2019 at 21:03. Reason: Please use team-bhp specific smileys
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Old 17th November 2019, 21:16   #15
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Default Re: Apex court asks Govt. to explore hydrogen fuel vehicles

I am just hoping we don't see another blanket statement by someone at Niti Aayog or the NGT saying that by by such and such year there will only be hydrogen vehicles. Not knowing an iota of what they're talking about.

I have been saying it earlier and I would reiterate again that till the time we don't have standardized Battery packs which can just be swapped at a station like a petrol station, we won't see electric revolution happening.

The govt. and its organizations like Niti Aayog and NGT need to come up with a proper firm plan and ask manufacturers to standardize their battery packs. Maybe have modular ones which can be stacked in multiples for higher performance or longer duration vehicles. Bajaj chetak can have one pack giving it 80km range and another larger bike can have 3 giving it better performance and a range of 150km.

The same can be replicated in cars.
This needs to be implemented in a subscription format and the refills/swaps should cost something slightly lesser than what we pay for petrol per km now.

This will curb another major point- what to do to batteries which are older or don't perform optimally.

Older or lower performing batteries can be accounted for and installed in solar powered buildings. Modularity will be a boon for such places. Like AIIMS hospital. Can store good amount of solar power that way.

And eventually the lithium can be disposed properly or maybe reused in some way.
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