Home / News / India /  India likely to have hydrogen-powered trains by Dec next year: Union Minister

Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw informed that the country will roll out its first domestically designed and built hydrogen-powered train by December 2023, according to news agency Reuters.

"We are designing and the design should be out anywhere by May or June," Ashwini Vaishnaw told reporters during a visit to the southern city of Bengaluru.

According to the news agency, the hydrogen-powered train will be called Vande Metro and will be manufactured in large numbers with an objective to replace the trains built in the 1950s and 60s.

Currently, most of the trains in India are powered by diesel or electricity.

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and achieve climate goals, governments around the world are looking for sustainable transport alternatives, and betting on clean hydrogen will be part of the effort. Concerns regarding the future of such endeavors and associated costs are raised from some quarters, which makes the future uncertain.

In July this year, Germany became the first country in the world to run hydrogen-powered trains. The total cost of the train is reported to be $86 million and the manufacturing company claims it to be "a true alternative to diesel power."

“Alstom Coradia iLint is the world’s first and only operational passenger train powered by hydrogen fuel cells. This completely emission-free train is quiet and emits only water vapor and condensation. The train features several different innovations: clean energy conversion and efficient energy supply and storage system combined with intelligent energy management. Designed specifically for use on non-electrified lines, it enables clean, sustainable train operations," the company's website said.

The hydrogen-powered train by Germany comes as the European countries push to cut their oil dependence, especially from countries like Russia, after its invasion of Ukraine.

Hydrogen-powered vehicles generate water and heat as by-products rather than regular toxic gases emitted by diesel or petrol-powered engines.

With inputs from Reuters.


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