National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is the largest thermal power producer in India. The company is a PSU and operates some of the largest coal based power plants in India. In the last few years, the company has pivoted towards renewable energy. Today, it is one of the major players in utility scale solar power plants. In its next pivot towards a sustainable and de-carbonised future, NTPC is now dabbling with Hydrogen Fuel Cell.
The idea is to develop an entire ecosystem from generating hydrogen using green energy to setting up hydrogen fuelling stations and operating fuel cell based vehicle. As a result, NTPC has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from global players for the supply of 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered buses and 10 cars to be operated in Leh, the Capital of the Union Territory of Ladakh in North India and in the city of Delhi.
Out of the automobile companies operating in India, two companies whose name pops up immediately for supply of these vehicles is Hyundai, Bharat Benz, Tata Motors, Honda and Toyota. Hyundai is a global leader in Fuel cell technology with commercially available car models in the USA as well as large commercial vehicle operating on fuel cell. Bharat Benz can tap into the portfolio of Daimler buses. Among the Indian players, Tata Motors has fuel cell powered bus prototype ready. Honda and Toyota are also pioneers in this technology.