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Hydrogen fuel vehicle prototype by 2006: Naik

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Dec. 12

THE country may develop its first prototype vehicle running on hydrogen fuel in the next three years, according to the Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik. Associated infrastructure such as hydrogen dispensing units may come up over the next decade, he added.

``I am hopeful that by 2005-06, we will develop a three-wheeler auto-rickshaw that will be fuelled by hydrogen. But commercial testing of hydrogen-based automobiles may take a while,'' he told newspersons on Thursday on the sidelines of an international workshop on `Hydrogen Energy'.

Hydrogen finds favour as a transport fuel since it is clean and efficient. Several international manufacturers have developed hydrogen-powered fuel cells to run automobiles. According to Mr Naik, Indian Oil Corporation's Research and Development Centre has started working on the alternative fuel and a prototype vehicle is expected in next three years.

A delegation of petroleum and natural gas company officials led by the Petroleum Secretary, Mr B.K. Chaturvedi, will visit some of the hydrogen installations in the US next week to plan hydrogen infrastructure in India.

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