India aims to set up ethanol pump network in 6 months: Gadkari

  • Indian government has been advocating for the use of flex-fuel engines in vehicles for quite some time.
Ethanol is basically ethyl alcohol that is made from molasses, grains and farm waste. (Representational image) (REUTERS)
Ethanol is basically ethyl alcohol that is made from molasses, grains and farm waste. (Representational image)

The Indian government has been focusing on alternative fuel solutions for quite some time. One of the alternative fuels to petrol and diesel is ethanol. Union road and transport minister Nitin Gadkari has been advocating for the use of ethanol in vehicles. He has appealed to the auto industry to come up with flex-fuel engines.

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Flex-fuel engines can run on both petrol and ethanol. Also, ethanol-blended petrol is known for less pollutant than pure petrol or diesel. At the recent SIAM Annual Conventional Gadkari has said that the government is aiming to establish a network of ethanol pumps in India.

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While the auto industry has been repeatedly being asked to use engines in vehicles than comply with ethanol-blended petrol. Gadkari has assured the auto industry stakeholders that government will ensure the availability of ethanol across the country.

India is aiming to achieve E10 by 2022 and E20 by 2025. This means the 10% ethanol blended petrol will be available across India by 2022. Also, by 2025, 20% ethanol blended petrol will be available across the country. Gadkari has said that E100 will be available at the upcoming ethanol fuel stations. These ethanol refuelling stations will be operated by public sector petroleum companies.

Currently, there are only three outlets in India, where E100 is available. The reason behind the lack of demand for ethanol is no vehicle in India is currently powered by the flex-fuel engine. In the two-wheeler segment, TVS Motor Company unveiled an ethanol-powered Apache RTR 200 in July 2019. However, the model is not available for mass purchase yet.

Gadkari's announcement comes on the back of automakers' claim that there is a lack of distribution network for ethanol. They have claimed that this scarcity is creating a hindrance to the growth of ethanol-powered engines.

First Published Date: 29 Aug 2021, 15:58 PM IST
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