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Homecar-bikeNitin Gadkari launches world's first 100% ethanol-run Toyota Innova vehicle

Nitin Gadkari launches world’s first 100% ethanol-run Toyota Innova vehicle

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari unveils world’s first 100% ethanol-fueled car. Ethanol can help reduce oil imports.

Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday unveiled a 100 per cent ethanol-fueled variant of Toyota’s Innova HyCross car. This car is said to be the world’s first BS-VI (Stage-II), electrified flex-fuel vehicle.

Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) have an internal combustion engine and are capable of operating on petrol and any blend of petrol and ethanol. Till now, the maximum limit of mixing is set around 83 per cent but this model says to run on 100 per cent ethanol.

Biofuels can save India the valuable foreign exchange that is being spent on the import of petroleum. “If we want to become Atamnirbhar (self-reliant) we have to bring this oil import to zero. At present, it is ₹16 lakh crore. This is a big loss to the economy,” Gadkari said at the Mint Sustainability Summit last week.

Vehicles running on alternate and greener fuels are necessary for sustainable development. “We have taken a lot of (sustainability) initiatives but we need to take more because pollution is a problem. Ecology and the environment are very important. We need to reduce air and water pollution. We have to improve the quality of water in our rivers. This is a big challenge. We need to protect our ecology and environment,” he said.

Last year, a hydrogen-powered car, the Toyota Mirai EV was launched by the union minister to promote alternative and green fuel energy.

What is Ethanol and how it is manufactured?

Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, or alcohol) is a biofuel with the chemical formula C2H5OH. It is naturally made by the fermentation of sugar. In India, it is largely derived while extracting sugar from sugarcane. However, other organic matter like food grains can also be used for its production.

The government has launched the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme to mix this biofuel with petrol to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. India has set a target of 20 per cent ethanol blending with petrol by 2025.

‘Ethanol a green fuel’

Ethanol supports complete combustion, according to a government report higher reductions in carbon monoxide emissions were observed with E20 fuel–50% lower in two-wheelers and 30% lower in four-wheelers. Hydrocarbon emissions scaled down by 20%, but nitrous oxide emissions did not show a substantial trend as it depended on the vehicle/engine type and engine operating conditions.

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