Techno-Economic Assessment of Future Fuels and Vehicle Technologies: Fuel Cell, Batteries, and Natural Gas Prospects in India



WCX SAE World Congress Experience
Authors Abstract
This study investigates the techno-economic feasibility of India’s evolving transportation technology. The country’s progressive renewable energy targets (energy independent by 2047) and incentivized policies on lower carbon footprint fuels are accelerating the focus on green transport solutions. A bottom-up approach is utilized to demystify the techno-commercial viability of new technologies.
The total cost of ownership (TCO) is an important metric for economic analysis. However, generalized data applications and simplified cost assumptions render inapplicability to local markets. In this study, the TCO model compares the vehicle technology’s energy, emissions, and cost, based on scientific co-relations. A 12-meter-bus market is used to compare Battery-powered Electric buses (BEB), Fuel Cell Electric Buses (FCEB), and prevalent Compressed Natural Gas Engine buses (CNGB) for a service life of 12 years. The analysis has two segments: Static analysis depicts the influencing factors (fuel production cost, maintenance, module life) while dynamic simulation shows the effect of technological innovation, carbon incentives, and value of money (employs declining balance method).
In the model, TCO for FCEBs ($142/100km) is higher compared to BEBs ($87/100km) and CNG’s ($93/100km) primarily due to energy-infrastructure cost ($5.7/kg) and module maintenance ($0.5/km). However, the life cycle emissions of FCEB (including both fuel and vehicle cycle) are 2.3 times lesser than the second lowest BEB. In the dynamic analysis, the study quantified crucial conditions and innovations (e.g., H2 production cost drop from $2.7/kg to $1.8/kg, module mileage improvements from 12MJ/km to 10 MJ/km by 2030) for FCEBs commercial acceptability, synchronous with the country’s energy and emission targets.
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Sarkar, S., He, X., and khan, F., "Techno-Economic Assessment of Future Fuels and Vehicle Technologies: Fuel Cell, Batteries, and Natural Gas Prospects in India," SAE Technical Paper 2023-01-0234, 2023,
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Apr 11, 2023
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Technical Paper