Avoid selling diesel cars, look for alternatives: Nitin Gadkari urges carmakers
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has urged carmakers to discourage production and sale of diesel cars and promote other technologies to reduce vehicular pollution. Gadkari, while addressing a conference organised by auto industry body SIAM on Wednesday, said carmakers should spend more fund to find alternatives to diesel in an effort to curb carbon emission.
Gadkari said, ""I appeal the vehicle manufacturers to discourage the production and sale of diesel engine vehicles. Diesel-based pollution is extremely hazardous to the environment and human health. The industry must promote alternative fuel technologies and fund R&D (research and development) for alternative fuels."
Gadkari's remarks came after he made his intentions clear with proposal to introduce flex-fuel engines, that supports ethanol-blended petrol as fuel. The Centre has already finalised the cut-off date before achieving 20 per cent ethanol-blending with petrol.
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Gadkari said the government is committed to delivering vehicles with flex engines that give the users an option to run a vehicle on either 100 per cent petrol or 100 per cent bio-ethanol. ""The technology is readily available, and it is just a matter of time to take that leap which will transform the transport landscape of India forever," he added.
Gadkari expects the carmakers in India to roll out E20-compatible vehicles as soon as possible to provide customers with more choice. E20 is a blend of 20 per cent ethanol and 80 per cent petrol. "This will be immensely helpful in cutting our import bill and giving a direct benefit to our farmers, without a compromise on the environment," he said.
Among the alternatives, Gadkari has already spoken at length on benefits of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and that his ministry is exploring its prospects. "Green-hydrogen is the fuel for the future. We need to find appropriate technologies for its generation, transportation and storage," he said.
Gadkari also said that to make electric vehicles a more viable option for customers, there is a need to develop low-cost indigenous battery technologies. "Development of charging infrastructure is very important for EV adoption," he said.
He also stressed that carmakers should focus on meeting international standards in terms of crash safety, body designs and corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFÉ) Norms for vehicles sold in India.