The Indian government has been working on alternative fuels for a long time. Ethanol is one of the alternative fuels to gasoline and diesel. Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has advocated the use of ethanol in vehicles. He is appealing to the auto industry to develop flex-fuel engines.
Flex-fuel engines are capable of running on both petrol and ethanol. In addition, ethanol-blended fuels are considered less polluting than pure gasoline or diesel. Gadkari recently told SIAM’s annual conference that the government intends to build an ethanol pump network in India. While the auto industry has been repeatedly urged to develop engines that can run on ethanol-blended fuels. Gadkari has promised stakeholders in the auto industry that the government will guarantee that ethanol is available across the country.
India aims to reach E10 status by 2022 and E20 status by 2025. This implies that by 2022, 10% of the ethanol-blend fuel will be available across India. In addition, 20 percent ethanol blended gasoline will be available across the country by 2025. According to Gadkari, the E100 will be available at the upcoming ethanol fueling stations. These ethanol refueling stations will be operated by public sector petroleum companies.
Currently, there are only three outlets in India where the E100 is available. The reason for the reduction in demand for ethanol is that there are currently no vehicles powered by flex-fuel engines in India. In the two-wheeler segment, TVS Motor Company unveiled the ethanol-powered Apache RTR 200 in July 2019. However, the model is not yet available for mass purchase.