Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has said that he is soon going to mandate Indian carmakers to introduce flex-fuel engines in their vehicles that can run 100 per cent on bioethanol. Flex-fuel (or flexible fuel) is an alternative fuel made of a combination of gasoline and methanol or ethanol. Such fuels are also beneficial for sugarcane farmers and sugar mills, the union minister added.
Speaking at Dr Mangalam Swaminathan Foundation National Award Ceremony 2021 in New Delhi, the union minister called the shift to biofuel from fossil fuels a grave need for India. Nitin Gadkari said that the country presently imports petrol, diesel and other petroleum products worth Rs. 8 lakh crore every year and the amount will reach Rs 25 lakh crore if we keep on using these fuels for next five years at the current rate. “MDs of Toyota Motor Corporation, Suzuki and Hyundai Motors have assured me that like America, Canada and Brazil, instead of petrol, the vehicles in our country will also run on 100% bio-ethanol very soon,” said the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways.
Nitin Gadkari said that Pune already has three ethanol pumps, and the Government of Maharashtra should allow auto-rickshaws running on ethanol completely to be operational in western Maharashtra. He urged people to steadily switch to flex-fuel, as it will be a cost-effective, environment-friendly import substitute to expensive fossil fuels. The flex-fuels are also an opportunity for farmers, as production and sale of ethanol can increase their income significantly, he added.