Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, who has so far led the turnaround in electric vehicles in India has announced to come with flex-fuel or dual fuel-enabled two-wheelers. This flex-engine is capable of operating on both petrol and ethanol.
According to a report published in NDTVAuto.com via PTI, two major bike makers are expected to soon come up with electric and flex engine motorcycles in the Indian markets.
According to him, the government is working towards policies to encourage ethanol, which can be easily produced from wheat straw, rice straw, bamboo and other produce.
He said one liter of ethanol would cost about half the petrol price and urged the need for massive bamboo plantation in the North East for this.
The latest announcement has come on the heels of issues raised by automobile industry who are not satisfied with shifting 100 per cent electric by 2030.
The government’s stern policy met with strong criticism from the auto industry. Recently, luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz had urged the government “not to rush with the all-electric vehicles push”.
It suggested the government should consider better technological options as the rest of the world is racing to run on hydrogen and not electricity.
The car manufacturer also called for adopting a less ambitious plan of promoting e-cars arguing that a nationwide electrification of the auto industry is just not commercially and technologically viable.
Additionally, Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) recently revealed that As many as 1.5 million people will be rendered unemployed in case of a sudden shift towards EVs.
According to Mercedes-Benz India MD Roland Folger, with the current coal-based power generation model, this would be more polluting as demand for electricity will jump manifold.
In September last year, Gadkari also announced that Delhi roads may see the electric bike in the coming months. As per the report, the govt was engaged in initial talks with SoftBank for loans at the low-interest rate for a green project.
On the lines of his initial commitments, the minister said plans are afoot to gradually convert transport to electric, ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, bio CNG and other such means.
For public transport, electric buses will be promoted and using supercapacitor technology, a charged bus can run for 36 km and will be charged in 3 minutes.
Major automakers like Mercedes, BMW, Ford or Toyota run on flex engine. India is also a suitable market to follow the same route.