We currently do not have many Ethanol-based 2-wheelers in India. In fact, Apache 200 E100 is the only motorcycle that can run on this fuel…
TVS Motor and Mahindra are working on producing two-wheelers that can completely run on Ethanol. Dubbed as flex-fuel engines, vehicles with such an engine can easily support a higher percentage of ethanol in regular fuel.
These automakers are undertaking two pilot projects to develop pure Ethanol-based vehicles that can run for a month with a consistent supply of E100.
Currently, in India, mainstream fossil fuel for vehicular use comes with an 8.6% blend of Ethanol. By the next four to five years the government is aiming to blend at least 20% ethanol in fuel.
So, the government is consulting with automobile makers to check the viability of vehicles that can run on pure Ethanol before it is practically implemented.
Recently, the automotive Industry body and ministry of petroleum and natural gas have been doing meetings along with sugar manufacturers to discuss pure ethanol-based automobiles.
Naturally, before taking such a project to life, it is important to understand all the aspects associated with it. Understanding demand and planning and creating infrastructure for pure ethanol fuel stations will be a pre-requisite.
The Current Production Status of Ethanol
As of now, India yields 457 crore liters per annum of Ethanol which is mostly procured from molasses. This contributes to a 10 % blend of Ethanol into fuel. However, to step it up to 20% the country needs to yield a massive figure of 1,106 crore liters of Ethanol.
Also, the production of molasses is limited in the country. So, as an efficient alternative, government is trying to produce Ethanol from wheat stock, rice husk, broken rice, and bran.
As of now, TVS is the only brand that has offered an ethanol-based motorcycle – RTR 200 E100 that is sparsely available in the country.
This means to achieve the target of 20% blend by 2025 India needs to step up its game of Ethanol production.
Of course, it appears to be a good concept to save the atmosphere from pollution. With proper research and implementation, India can spearhead as a hub for E100-based vehicles on a global level in the coming future.
Source: Financial Express