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India’s first flex fuel car will be launched today in the presence of Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
India is set to get its first flex-fuel car by Toyota today. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari will launch a new trial project involving Toyota's new car that will be powered by flex-fuel technology. The name of the car model hasn’t been revealed yet. However, several reports suggest that Toyota may introduce either Hybrid Camry or the Hybrid Corolla in the Indian market as a flex-fuel option.
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Toyota’s Flex Fuel cars are currently on sale in markets like Brazil where the vehicle is tuned to be used with ethanol-blended fuel. The new car is expected to have a strong hybrid technology and may come with a 2.0-litre petrol engine capable of running on E85 ethanol.
Here is all you need to know about flex-fuel cars.
Flex-fuel compatible cars are capable of running on more than one type of fuel, or a mixture of petrol with ethanol or methanol. The engine of the flex fuel car automatically adjusts for any ratio of fuel, with the help of modifications like a fuel composition sensor. These flex-fuel engines can run on up to 85 percent petrol with ethanol (e85 Flex Fuel) and are already available in countries such as Brazil, the US and Canada.
Flex fuel vehicles are more efficient and have improved acceleration performance when they are fuelled with higher ethanol blends, as per the US Department of Energy.
Difference between normal petrol cars and flex-fuel cars
Most of the parts of the flexible fuel vehicles are similar to that of petrol-only vehicles but certain modifications in the flex-fuel cars allow them to operate on petrol or its blend with ethanol up to 85 percent.
The difference is a set of certain ethanol-compatible components and modifications to the fuel pump and fuel injection system. Flex fuel vehicles are also calibrated with Engine Control Module to accommodate the higher oxygen content of ethanol. This system monitors and controls the fuel mixture, ignition timing, and emissions system and keeps a track of the operation of the vehicle and ensures safety from overuse.
Government’s push for flex fuels
The Government of India is keen to introduce flex-fuel vehicles in the country and is also seeking collaboration with Brazil which has a well-developed market for flex-fuel vehicles. Since India is one of the largest sugarcane producers, it has great potential to produce enormous amounts of ethanol.
The ‘National Policy on Biofuels’ notified by the Government in 2018 targeted the introduction of E20 flex-fuel (80 percent petrol, 20 per cent ethanol) by 2023. As per the new regulation automakers will be compelled to manufacture engines compatible with the fuel.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
First Published: Sept 28, 2022 1:08 PM IST