Nitin Gadkari has been at the forefront of India’s changing automotive landscape for some time now. From the transition from BS3 to BS4, moving to BS6, or implementing new crash test standards, all these have happened in a timely fashion. Gadkari has now urged carmakers, in an earlier press conference he had, that flex-fuel engines should soon become mandatory in India. And now it is time to do that. Gadkari has urged all the manufacturers to switch to Ethanol.
In a meeting with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Union minister Nitin Gadkari urged carmakers to adopt flex-fuel engines which can run on 100% ethanol or petrol within a year. As far as carmakers are concerned, it won’t be a big deal for most manufacturers to introduce flex-fuel engines in India. The technology already exists, and these multi-fuel engines are available in countries like Brazil, Canada, and the US.
This will be a huge transition as consumers have been feeling the pinch of rising petrol prices. Even if prices were to come down, they would never return to where they were two years ago. Ethanol, which is a by-product in the production of sugar, can be an excellent substitute for petrol. It will also be more affordable than petrol, considering it can be produced domestically. India being the third-largest importer of oil relies on foreign suppliers to meet 85% of its oil demands. That is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari suggested that India should promote the use of biofuels. The primary objective of this move is to curb the dependence on oil imports. Ethanol contains oxygen which results in the complete combustion of the fuel. This in turn reduces the emission levels improving air quality.
Compared to the positives, the negative points are less. And this should not create a huge deal breaker for a potential buyer. The implementation of flex-fuel engines will be a challenge in terms of vehicle modification and tuning. And also, this is expected to further increase the prices of cars by ₹15,000 to ₹20,000.
However, in the long run, the less we depend on the imported fuel that will help us in maintaining economic stability, the better.