Indian automobile industry needs to provide flexi-fuel vehicles at various price points quickly to accelerate the adoption of blended fuel technology, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday.
The government will provide comprehensive support from the supply, policy, and demand side for the sale of flexi fuel - E10 (a blend of 10 percent ethanol with petrol) and E20 (20 percent ethanol with petrol) - vehicles, a viable business proposition for the auto industry, he said here at an event organised by auto industry body SIAM.
“I think, we need more options to be created at various price points, including two-wheelers and three-wheelers and we need them quickly," the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Housing and Urban Development said. He cited the example of the launch of Japanese car maker Toyota’s first-of-its-kind pilot project on flex-fuel - a strong hybrid electric vehicle (FFV-SHEV) that can run on 100 percent ethanol in India last week to assert how things are developing on the blended fuel front.
Puri said the government is ready from the supply side to launch E20. “We are sure that the production goal of 1,000 crore liters will be achieved five years beforehand, and we’ll be ready with the pilot project of having E20 fuel available in select pumps by April 2023," he asserted.
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Achieving E20 blending with petrol by 2025 would help India save foreign exchange by about Rs 30,000 crore per annum, the minister said. Puri said India will push for an international biofuel alliance when it assumes the presidency of G20 in December this year. “I’m on record to say we will utilise our G20 presidency to try and set up an international biofuel alliance," he said.
The number of petrol pumps selling biofuels has increased three-fold from 29,897 in 2016-17 to 67,641 in 2021-22, the minister said, adding India’s ethanol demand is poised to grow up to 10.16 billion liters by 2025. “We have also expanded the excise duty waiver for biofuels and we will always consider how to progress this even further," Puri said.
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