US-based Mallawa Ventures, a leading global investor and early-stage technology provider, is planning to set up a hydrogen fuel cell electric bus manufacturing plant in Chennai. The company would also set up a unit to produce hydrogen to meet the fuel requirements of the buses.
The company has identified nearly 500 acres for the plant in Chennai and nearly 3,000 jobs opportunities are to be created at the factory. The first hydrogen bus from the plant is expected to hit the roads by mid-2023.
Raj Karan, president & CEO, Mallawa Ventures, said though the hydrogen buses would cost double when compared with the conventional ICE buses, the total cost of ownership would be much lesser.
Mallawa Ventures intends to invest Rs 8,000 crore (around $ 1 billion) in India by 2030 in the alternate fuel-powered transportation sector.
The company is planning to produce 100 buses per month. While the the technology is imported, the rest of the manufacturing will be done in India. It is in talks with the officials of state government and state road transport undertakings, private bus owners and omni bus owners to push the new concept.
“While people are still juggling with petrol, diesel and CNG, we are introducing hydrogen fuel cell buses. This segment is still in nascent stage in India. Over the next three years, we are likely to see more players entering into this segment,” Karan said.
The buses of 12-metre would be available in three variants of floor heights of 400mm, 650mm and 800mm. All three variants can run from 350km to 750km per charge which will take less than 10 minutes. It is planning to set up 10 charging stations in the city.