Coming up, an order directing car brands to make flex-fuel engines, says Gadkari
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has been very vocal about the benefits of having flex-fuel engines in cars on Indian roads. One of the biggest advantages, he says, is that the country can eventually reduce its dependence on imported crude oil because flex-fuel engines would be able to run 100% on bio-ethanol. At an event on Monday, Gadkari further highlighted that he will issue an order in the coming days which would direct car manufacturers to start introducing these engines.
Gadkari has advocated the need for India to reduce its import cost on petroleum products which is around ₹8 lakh crore each year. "If the country continues its consumption like this, then its import bill will rise to ₹25 lakh in the next 5 years," he said. “I am going to sign a file in the next 2-3 days, in which carmakers will be asked to make engines that can run on 100 per cent bio-ethanol."
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The minister was addressing the audience at Dr Mangalam Swaminathan Foundation National Award Ceremony 2021.
Petrol and diesel prices in the country have been at record levels in recent times and part of the ‘blame’ is put on fluctuations in the price of crude in the international markets as well as on foreign exchange rates. Taxes imposed by central and state governments also form a large part of the final per litre cost to motorists.
Gadkari says he has received positive response on flex-fuel engines from several car brands. "MD's of Toyota Motor Corporation, Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India have assured me that like Brazil, America and Canada, the vehicles in our country will run on 100 per cent bio-ethanol, which produced by our farmers, instead of 100 per cent petrol," he said.
While bio-fuel has the potential of bringing down fuel prices, Gadkari has also said it can significantly increase incomes for farmers. He recently urged farmers in the country to switch to ethanol production.
So what is a flex-fuel engine and how can bio-ethanol power new-age vehicles? According to US Department of Energy, flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) have an internal combustion engine and are capable of operating on gasoline and any blend of gasoline and ethanol up to 83%. Flex-fuel engines are often touted as being better for the environment because of lower emissions and may also offer better performance.