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Indian government asks for flex fuel engines from carmakers

Written by Nizam Shaikh

In a bid to further reduce greenhouse gases, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Mr Nitin Gadkari in a meeting with the Society of Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) told delegates to develop & produce Flex Fuel engines that will help reduce the CO2 footprint as emission norms get tighter in the near future. By the year 2030, India aims to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of its GDP by 30%-33% below the average in the year 2005.

CAFE norms

For this purpose, CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency) norms are likely to become effective from 2022. The SIAM team met with Mr Gadkari for the deferment of the stricter CAFE norms. The CAFE norms will set a certain fuel economy target, based upon the size and weight of the vehicle. Bringing in these stricter norms will ensure that the car manufacturers are on their toes when it comes to the fuel efficiency of the engines. This will also ensure the reduction of CO2 emission in the environment.

Flex Fuel

Flex Fuel is basically an alternative fuel made by combining Petrol and Ethanol. While Flex Fuel vehicles can use regular fuel, standard gasoline engines are not able to use Flex Fuel without special modifications and tuning. Currently, Oil Companies in the Indian market offer Ethanol blends of up to 10% which does not require any modification and if car companies bring in Flex-Fuel engines, Oil Companies in India will also have to start to offer higher Ethanol blends as Ethanol blends of over 10% require modification to the powertrain. This will also reduce the country’s dependence on fuel imports and boost the agricultural economy as Ethanol can be made from starch-based crops such as Corn by dry or wet-mill processing, fermentation and distillation.

Citroen CC21

French car manufacturer, Citroen which is gearing up to launch the C5 Aircross SUV in the Indian market is speculated to be running tests on a micro SUV with a Flex Fuel engine for the Indian market. Codenamed CC21, the micro SUV is likely to use Ethanol blends from 27% to up to 100% and if the brand launches the CC21 in India it will become the country’s first series-production Biofuel vehicle.

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