In a groundbreaking stride towards sustainable mobility, India has revealed the prototype of the world’s first BS 6 (Stage II) Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicle. This innovative vehicle, combining a flex fuel engine with an electric powertrain. Moreover, it was unveiled by Shri Nitin Gadkari Ji, Hon’ble Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways. Along with distinguished guests Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey Ji, Hon’ble Union Minister of Heavy Industries, and Shri Hardeep Puri Ji, Hon’ble Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs. The event marked a pivotal moment in India’s automotive industry’s journey towards a greener and more self-reliant future.
Why Renewable Energy?
India’s soaring economic growth and escalating fossil fuel consumption, coupled with rising crude oil imports. Further, have underscored the urgency of transitioning away from fossil fuels. The transport sector, accounting for approximately 50% of oil demand. Additionally, is expected to be the primary contributor to this demand surge. Estimates suggest that energy consumption in India’s transport sector will double to 200 Mtoe (Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent) by 2030. However, such growth comes with the looming threat of increased carbon emissions.
Renewable Energy Resource
Recognizing this imperative, India is leveraging its rich renewable energy resources, surplus sugar, food grains, and biomass to fuel a transition towards a cleaner energy future. Abundant sugarcane, excess food grains, and substantial biomass waste are being harnessed to produce ethanol. Further, offering a sustainable alternative to petrol for vehicles. The recent success story of ethanol blending is noteworthy, with the ethanol mix in petrol rising from 1.53% in 2013-14 to 11.5% in March 2023. This achievement has significantly reduced the country’s oil import bill, by ₹41,500 crores over eight years. Moreover, ethanol blending facilitated a reduction of 26 million barrels of petrol in 2020-21, resulting in savings of ₹10,000 crores.
The forthcoming implementation of E20 (20% ethanol blending in petrol) by April 2025 is projected to yield annual savings of ₹35,000 crores in oil import expenditures. Additionally, this move will curtail GHG emissions by 21 million metric tonnes and PM2.5 emissions by up to 14% compared to petrol. The strategic use of ethanol can transform farmers into not only ‘Annadatas’ (food providers) but also ‘Urjadatas’ (energy providers).
While ethanol from sugarcane and food grains presents a significant opportunity. India’s potential for ethanol production from plant waste or residues like Parali, using 2G technology, is equally promising. This approach not only reduces pollution but also generates economic value from waste, benefiting the agrarian economy.
Nonetheless, challenges related to the lower fuel efficiency of ethanol necessitate innovative solutions. The prototype of the Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicle, showcased at the event, embodies such innovation. By combining a flex fuel engine with an electric powertrain, this vehicle provides higher fuel substitution (using ethanol) and enhanced fuel efficiency, thanks to its electric mode capabilities. As it overcomes the energy density challenge of ethanol, this technology aligns with India’s thrust towards cleaner energy sources.
With the unveiling of the world’s first BS 6 (Stage II) Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicle. India’s automotive sector is poised for a significant transformation. This prototype, developed by Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), has the potential to reshape the landscape of green mobility. It demonstrates the harmonization of flex fuel engines and electric powertrains. Further, offering an avenue to reduce petrol consumption at a massive scale. This aligns with the Indian government’s vision of achieving a cleaner and more self-reliant energy ecosystem.
As the world moves towards greener technologies, India’s commitment to innovation in the automotive sector shines brightly. The unveiling of the Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicle prototype serves as a beacon of hope. Further, demonstrating that sustainable mobility is not just a dream but an attainable reality. The event symbolizes a crucial step forward on India’s journey towards energy security, environmental conservation, and a more prosperous future.