India Will Have Ethanol-based ‘flex engines’, Schemes To Come Soon: Gadkari

Highlights :

  • India to have ethanol-based ‘Flex-Engines’.
  • The government will launch schemes soon and start within three months.
  • Indian automakers like TVS and Bajaj already developed two-wheelers to run on ethanol.

The Union Minister, Mr. Nitin Gadkari said on Monday that India has decided to allow ethanol-based ‘flex engines’ which power vehicles using local farm produce and not fossil fuels, and will be rolling out a scheme on the same in the next three months. These are also needed as Ethanol blending picks up pace in the country, with a target of 20 percent blending from the existing 7.5 percent by 2025.

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Gadkari said that other countries of the world like Brazil, the US, and Canada have flex engines that are powered by farm produce and exhorted automakers like BMW, Mercedes, and Toyota to develop vehicles running on the alternative fuel.

A switch to locally-produced ethanol will be helpful for a country like India which relies majorly on crude oil imports for powering the transport sector. Also, it will be less polluting and cost-saving. A liter of ethanol comes at a mandated price of Rs 62 per liter as against the over Rs 100 paid for petrol, the minister stated, acknowledging that the calorific value of the ethanol is lower.

“In the US, Brazil, and Canada, they have flex engines, so as the transport minister we are going to launch this flex engine facility to all the consumers in the country,” Gadkari said at an event organized by state-run lender Indian Bank.

“We are going to launch this scheme now and within three months we are going to start,” the minister added.

Gadkari said the government has already started giving permission to establish 100 percent ethanol petrol pumps and added that Prime Minister has already inaugurated two such facilities in Pune, Maharashtra.

“We can make ethanol from sugarcane juice molasses and now the government is giving permission to make ethanol from food grains that are from rice, corn, and food grains,” he said, asking states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh to take the lead.

At present, India is pushing for  20 percent ethanol-blending in fuels. The country is saddled with excess stocks of rice and wheat as well, Gadkari said, after flagging hunger as one of the key challenges for the country.

We can make ethanol from sugarcane juice molasses and now the government is giving permission to make ethanol from food grains that are from rice, corn, and food grains. He said Indian automakers including TVS and Bajaj have already developed two-wheelers to run exclusively on ethanol, asking their peers to develop their own models.

Speaking at the launch of a mentoring initiative developed by the bank for small businesses in Maharashtra, Gadkari said bankers also need to take the lead in identifying disruptive technologies of the future and fund them at the appropriate time.

Meanwhile, in order to increase credit supply to the all-important small businesses segment, Gadkari, who also holds the micro, small and medium enterprises portfolio, asked the industry to develop a robust rating system on which bankers can rely lending. Such a system, which will take inputs from a business’s balance sheet, GST payments, turnover, etc, can help speed up credit for the deserving businesses, Gadkari said.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.