In the face of rising fuel prices, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari drove Toyota Mirai, a first-of-its-kind green hydrogen-powered automobile into Parliament on Wednesday. Mirai is one of the world’s few Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) that operates entirely on hydrogen power.
Gadkari unveiled this green hydrogen-based advanced FCEV on March 16, marking the start of India’s first endeavour to deliver hydrogen-powered vehicles to the country. The vehicle was unveiled as part of a pilot project between Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) and the International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT).
The minister drove his FCEV from his home to Parliament, emphasising the need of making the shift to renewables and green energy. Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) is conducting a pilot project with the International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT) to examine and assess the Toyota Mirai on Indian roads and weather conditions.
Toyota claims that the Mirai is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell battery pack that can provide a range of up to 650 kilometres on a single charge with a five-minute refuelling time. This might reduce the cost of travel to as low as Rs 2 per kilometre. The term ‘Mirai’ in Japanese means ‘future’.
According to Gadkari’s office, India will soon become a green hydrogen-exporting country, which also stated that the government’s National Hydrogen Mission will focus on green and clean energy. Outside Parliament, Gadkari told reporters: ‘Gas and petrol prices are soaring in the world market. This has caused a lot of distress among people. But Narendra Modi’s dream is an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. We import Rs 8 lakh crore worth of petrol, crude, diesel. Therefore, we must produce ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, bio CNG, bio LNG, electricity and green hydrogen’.
According to the minister, the government is working to clean up filthy water and utilise organic waste in order to generate green energy.