As Indian Minister Nitin Gadkari announces that the state will issue an order for all the automakers – including those in the mass-market market as well as premium segments – to make flex-fuel engines compulsory for their vehicle in the next three to four months, while the country continues to push the country’s energy vehicles toward transforming the transport sector. Gadkari said he hoped to see demand for petrol and diesel fuel decrease as more motorcyclists move onto vehicles that are powered by locally produced ethanol during the Pune flyover ceremony in Pune.
The Center will ensure the production of flex-fuel vehicles for all OEMs in India is obligatory. Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport and Highway Minister for the Union (MoRTH) said that in the near future, he will issue an order to compel all the ICE vehicle manufacturers to come up with options that can operate on several fuels.
The news agency ANI quoted Gadkari: “In the next three to four months I shall issue the order for all manufacturers of vehicles to power motor vehicles with flex motors.” Gadkari informed BMW and all others of the initial order for a flex engine. Gadkari also said that he had asked Bajaj and TVS to introduce their vehicles with flex motors.
Since Gadkari pitched the use of flex-fuel engines in order to reduce dependence on expensive foreign crude oil, the decision will influence vehicle manufacturers in India.
Flex-fuel engines, which offer petrol car owners a CNG fuel option, are a step toward the introduction in India of fuel based upon ethanol. In accordance with the announcement by Premier Narendra Modi to advance the deadline for mixing ethanol to 20 percent between now and 2025, the Center has just issued a draught notification.
The present price of one liter of ethanol in India is €62.65, compared with nearly €100 per liter of petrol, and above €90 for one liter of diesel. This means that ethanol or petroleum blended gasoline significantly reduces consumers’ fuel costs in comparison to pure fossil fuels.
Even two-wheeler makers will be asked to work on their scooters and motor cycles’ flex-fuel engines, with Gadkari saying he asked Bajaj and TVS to not approach him before they progressed, PTI says. Interestingly, in 2019 TVS launched the Apache RTR 200 Fi E100, an ethanol variant that only came in in three states: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka.
Flex-fuel engines are not unusual particularly in countries where they are used extensively, such as Brazil, Canada, and the USA. With the implementation of flex-fuel engines, vehicle owners are free to either use petrol or ethanol to drive their vehicles.
Gadkari recently urged vehicle manufacturers in India, instead of changing to alternative fuel technology, to stop the production and sale of diesel vehicles.
Gadkari had previously pointed out on several occasions that ethanol could help the economy at a time when the price of fuel has risen record. In addition to the cost factor, ethanol is less polluting than conventional fuel, which in the long term also helps the government reduce its CO2 emissions.
Ethanol is better than petrol, Gadkari has previously said, and an alternative to import, cost-effective, pollution-free and indigenous. He also mentioned the use of ethanol as a fuel to boost the Indian economy because India is “a surplus of grain and sugar and a surplus of wheat.”