Why does Nitin Gadkari use a hydrogen car as a daily driver? -Auto News, Firstpost



The Union’s transport minister, Nitin Gadkari, believes India will soon become an export country of ‘green hydrogen’. Could the Toyota Mirai be a glimpse of things to come?

Nitin Gadkari’s Toyota Mirai outside the parliament building. (Image: Nitin Gadkari/Twitter)

It seems the push for alternative fuels has gone a step further with the arrival of Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari at the parliament building in a Toyota Mirai. What’s so special about the Mirai? It is a hydrogen-based Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), similar to the Hyundai Nexo and Honda Clarity. This certainly shows the commitment of the government, and indeed the Department of Transport, when it comes to the shift to more environmentally friendly fuels.

Is the Toyota Mirai an electric car?

Basically yes. It is powered by a 1.24 kWh battery pack that can produce a respectable 182 hp and 406 Nm of torque. Plus, it has a claimed range of 646 miles, which is pretty good compared to some bigger EVs with bigger batteries. But the big difference lies in how the Mirai stores its electricity. There is also an essential difference in the way the power is delivered.

How is an FCEV different from BEV?

This is the important part. The main difference is in the way energy is stored. Of course, the FCEV also has a battery pack, but a relatively smaller one and is paired with a hydrogen fuel cell. These fuel cells then use the electricity generated by the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen and even store it in a sealed tank, a type of petrol, diesel or CNG-powered car. What makes the FCEV particularly interesting, however, is the fact that the hydrogen gas can be recovered in less than five minutes.

Will it catch on in India?

It is certainly an avenue of alternative fuels that needs to be explored in more detail. Not long ago, Gadkari had launched this green hydrogen-based advanced fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), Toyota Mirai, and said it is the first project of its kind in India that aims to create an ecosystem for such vehicles in the country. While it’s more expensive than some of the battery-electric vehicles out there, it could be a cleaner way forward thanks to the fact that the tailpipes only put out water vapor as emissions. Gadkari even tweeted that India will soon become a ‘green hydrogen’ export country.

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