The Indian government has advised automakers to produce flex-fuel vehicles (FFV) aligned with BS-VI emission norms within six months, as reported by Economic Times on December 27. FFV, or dual-fuel vehicle, is equipped with an internal combustion engine that consumes more than one type of fuel, usually hybrid mixing petrol with either ethanol or methanol fuel. Citing Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, the move could dramatically cut the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the process of fuel transportation and vehicle operation, under India’s commitment of reducing 1bn tons of projected carbon emission by 2030.
India expects FFV to reduce its carbon emissions and oil import bills, which surged 138% YoY to USD42bn in the first five months of the fiscal year 2022 (FY22), compared with the oil imports worth USD62.7bn in FY21. At present, over 80% of the districts in India use E10 petrol, which contains 90% petrol and up to 10% renewable ethanol. India plans to replace that with cleaner fuels such as E20 petrol and reach an ultimate target of using pure ethanol. In June 2021, the Indian government announced it will start producing E20 fuel from 2023, two years ahead of its previous target of starting in 2025. However, different from the E10 petrol, E20 petrol requires updates and modifications to existing engines, or it could cause corrosion of vehicle parts. In this regard, FFV development is compatible with the country’s green fuel transition.