Sri Lanka turns to hydrogen fuel for tuk tuk

Sri Lanka will step into hydrogen fuel era shortly, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce announced yesterday.

“Interestingly, the entry will be through the small scale SME sector rather than large scale motor transport. UNIDO is planning the pilot project in Galle where hydrogen powered three wheelers supported by a mini hydrogen filling station. This will show us how to implement this new technology in across the entire country,” said Nawaz Rajabdeen, UNIDO National Director for Sri Lanka.

Rajabdeen announced this in the aftermath of his discussion with Vittorio Coco, the Consultant and Adviser of Sri Lanka’s first Hydrogen powered pilot project which is set to test hydrogen powered three wheelers (tuk-tuks) in Galle Fort.

“Three wheelers are banned in the UNESCO World Heritage Galle Fort due to their emissions but with the use of hydrogen powered zero emission wheelers, there will be no hazard whatsoever. In fact, the test site is chosen intentionally to demonstrate the high quality, non-polluting nature of hydrogen fuel” Rajabdeen added.

The one year long pilot project in Sri Lanka is modelled on ‘HyAlfa’, the world’s first hydrogen powered three wheeler unveiled in India in January 2012 by Mahindra & Mahindra.

At mass production levels, the hydrogen powered Indian tuk-tuks are estimated to cost only 12 per cent in comparison to standard three wheelers used there.

Mahindra’s HyAlfa’s report 80km mileage for just one kilogram of hydrogen.

“UNIDO is also planning to bring down Indian experts at the official announcement in Colombo in mid-June” Nawabdeen revealed.

“We want the hydrogen implementation to be in combination with existing renewable energy used in the country, and we will not abandon existing renewable energy sources at all” revealed Vittorio Coco.


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