As per a recent statement by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, India is expected to make it mandatory for auto manufacturers to offer vehicles running 100 per cent on bio-fuels in the next six months. Within this period, the government will give orders for making flex engines mandatory. State-run oil marketing companies have already been ordered to offer bio-fuels at their petrol/diesel facilities.
The consumers will be provided a choice between petrol and bioethanol. As one liter of bioethanol costs Rs 65 as against Rs 100 for petrol, the move is expected to be cost-effective for consumers, in light of rising petrol prices. The use of bioethanol is also going to save crucial foreign exchange for the country. The fuel is also greener as compared to its alternative. A switch to bioethanol is also vital for India due to the surplus production of crops like rice, maize, corn and sugar. The crop surplus can be effectively utilised to produce bioethanol.
A wide variety of crops receive a minimum support price higher than the commercial price or international prices, making it essential to divert the crop harvests to productive uses such as manufacturing of bioethanol.
India aims to be the leading auto manufacturing hub in the world, offering vehicles with different categories of green fuels. India’s transition towards Electric Vehicles (EVs) is also ongoing at a fast pace across different EV segments. In addition, efforts on using hydrogen as a fuel, and to tap the gas from sea water and sewage water are also underway.