Days after preponing cut-off date for mixing 20 per cent ethanol in petrol from 2030 to 2025, the Centre is planning to make it mandatory for carmakers in India to start producing vehicles with flex-fuel engines, which is compatible with the alternative fuel.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that his ministry will come up with a decision soon to ask the auto industry to do their part to help the economy by providing customers with option to choose a more cost-effective fuel to run their cars and two-wheelers.
Addressing a virtual conference, Nitin Gadkari said, “I am transport minister, I am going to issue an order to the industry, that only petrol engines will not be there, there will be flex-fuel engines, where there will be choice for the people that they can use 100 per cent crude oil or 100 per ethanol. I am going to take a decision within 8-10 days and we will make it (flex-fuel engine) mandatory for the automobile industry.”
Gadkari said that ethanol will help the economy at a time when fuel price hikes have taken petrol and diesel prices at an all-time high. While petrol costs more than ₹100 per litre in several parts of the country, the price of alternative fuel ethanol will be pegged at about ₹60-62 per litre. He said that ethanol is a better fuel than petrol and is also pollution-free and indigenous.
Gadkari has also said flex-fuel engines are already in vogue in countries like Brazil, Canada and United States where a lot of vehicle owners use ethanol as fuel for their cars.
Gadkari said that about 8.5 per cent ethanol is mixed with petrol currently. Seven years ago the percentage was much lesser at 1-1.5 per cent. The Union Minister has said that ethanol procurement has risen from 38 crore litres to 320 crore litres.
Petrol price has crossed ₹100 per litre in metro cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, while it is inching towards the three figure mark in other cities like Delhi, Chennai and others. In 27 hikes since May 4, the price of petrol has shot up by ₹6.82 per litre and diesel by ₹7.24 a litre.