The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has called for proposals to run long-haul hydrogen-powered vehicles on selected routes for 24 months covering a total mileage of a minimum of 60,000 kilometres. The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) will be the Scheme Implementation Agency (SIA). The five routes identified are Chandigarh – Delhi – Jaipur, Ahmedabad – Mumbai – Pune, Chennai - Hosur – Bengaluru, Kolkata – Jamshedpur – Ranchi and Nagpur - Indore.

Data from the pilot projects will help to identify operational issues and gaps in terms of current technology readiness, regulations, implementation methodologies, infrastructure and supply chains. MNRE has issued scheme guidelines for the pilot projects under which the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and the Scheme Implementing Agencies (SIAs) will monitor and implement the trials. The learnings from the pilot projects will help inter-city bus and truck operators (including State Transport Undertakings), and private car users in gaining experience with the deployment and usage of hydrogen-powered vehicles and refuelling technologies.

Central financial assistance of ₹496 crore has been provided for the pilot projects under this scheme till 2025-26. The scheme will provide financial assistance to close the viability gap due to the relatively higher capital cost of hydrogen-powered vehicles in the pilot projects. The cap on viability gap funding will be finalised at the time of bid approval.

The National Green Hydrogen Mission envisages green Hydrogen's advantages for heavy-duty, long-haul vehicles and certain routes would be designated as Hydrogen Highways. The necessary Green Hydrogen production projects, distribution infrastructure and refuelling stations will be built along such highways. This will enable Hydrogen-fueled inter-state buses and commercial vehicles to ply on such routes.

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