Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, unveiled today a prototype of Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s electrified flex fuel vehicle in India. The car, based on the Innova Hycross model, is designed to be compatible with India’s stricter emission norms BS 6 (Stage II).
Electrified flex-fuel vehicles have both a flex-fuel engine as well as an electric powertrain, offering higher use of ethanol combined with better fuel efficiencies.
The vehicle can run on any of the higher ethanol blends beyond 20%. It can provide 30-50% higher fuel efficiency, running 40-60% in EV mode with the engine shut off. The vehicle uses minimal advanced chemistry batteries (1.3-1.5 kWh compared to 40-60 kWh for battery electric vehicles).
Unveiling the prototype, Gadkari said, “Ethanol, being an indigenous, clean and renewable fuel, holds a promising future for India. The government focuses on ethanol for achieving energy self-reliance, spurring farmers’ incomes, and having a better environmental impact. The Government’s plan is not only to diversify agriculture surpluses towards the energy sector but also generate wealth from waste using 2G technology for producing ethanol from bio-waste.”
India is endowed with renewable energy, surplus sugar, food grains, and biomass. The abundantly available sugarcane, excess food grains, and huge biomass waste can be used to produce ethanol that can substitute a significant amount of petrol used by vehicles in the shortest possible time. Ethanol can also be produced from plant waste or residues, which are otherwise burnt, causing widespread pollution in northern parts of India.
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