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India Could Soon Get Flex-Fuel Vehicles – Nitin Gadkari

Volvo and German conglomerate Volkswagen could supply flex-fuel engines to some vehicles that will be run under a pilot project in India

  • Shilpa Chopra
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Volvo Buses

If all goes well we may soon see vehicles that run on alternative fuel, methanol, ethanol and Bio CNG. India is now looking at such vehicles that use alternative fuel and car giants, Volvo and German conglomerate Volkswagen could supply such vehicles that will be run under a pilot project in India. Showing interest in the project, Volvo had a talk with Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister, and has seemingly agreed to supply 50 buses that run on methanol. These buses could be seen running on the roads of Pune and Mumbai. On the other hand, Volkswagen is ready to supply flex-engine for 100 vehicles, provided the supply of ethanol is assured.

The pilot project could be replicated, depending on the response as suggested by Gadkari. Aside from Volvo and Volkswagen, the Union Minister also had a talk with taxi aggregator Ola for including such vehicles that use alternative fuel (ethanol) in its fleet of taxis. Read More – These Popular Cars Are Set To Get Pricier Post July 1

Now what exactly is a flex-engine? A flex engine can run on blended fuel that comprises of 22 per cent ethanol. Interestingly, it could also run on 100 per cent petrol and this is what makes it unique. As India is exploring options for alternative fuel and preparing to go all electric in future, Nagpur, which is the constituency of Gadkari became the first city in India with a fleet of 200 electric vehicles that include autos, e-rikshaw, buses and taxis. Leading by example, Gadkari had launched the pilot project in the city with 100 units of Mahindra e20 Plus to be used as taxis by Ola. Read More – Impact Of GST – Small Cars To Get Costlier

The use of alternative fuel can save a colossal Rs 7 lakh crore that goes into the import bill on crude. Promoting the use of alternative fuel Gadkari said that ethanol can be produced locally in cities like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, while Gujarat State Fertiliser Corporation could manufacture methanol through coal gastification.

While Gadkari is keen on launching the pilot project for such vehicles that use alternative fuel, he has also suggested to promote use of methanol for vessels instead of LNG that cost more. This could benefit the Indian tourism as Indian government is working on the cruise tourism policy. The Union Minister is also likely to hold a talk with FM, Arun Jaitley for reducing GST on hybrids and other such vehicles that can run on alternative fuels. With the GST coming in force from July 1, 2017, the prices of hybrid vehicles are likely to shoot drastically.

 

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