Car News News

Toyota’s Flexi-Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles project for India

Written by Kanad Kalasur

Toyota has showcased the Corolla Flexi-fuel hybrid vehicle for its pilot project to showcase and try the Flexi-Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FFV-SHEV) technology in India. The flex-fuel Corolla Altis Hybrid is based on the latest generation of the Corolla.

Flex-Fuel Technology

A flexible-Fuel vehicle (FFV) is nothing but a dual-fuel car that has an internal combustion engine to run on two or more fuels. In most cases, the engine and related components are modified to run either petrol blended with ethanol or even pure ethanol. Both fuels use the same tank, and depending on availability, the car user can choose to fill the fuel of his choice. The car’s electronic control unit (ECU) adjusts the fuel injection and spark timing as per the fuel in the tank.

Flex-fuel technology was first developed in Brazil by the end of the 1990s. Brazilian flex cars can run up to 100% Ethanol or any blend between 25-27% with petrol. One significant advantage of this technology is the fact that users can choose a fuel that is cheaper due to market conditions. For example, in the sugarcane season, the price of ethanol drops significantly due to the large availability of ethanol. Sugarcane-based ethanol is the leading source of bio-ethanol used by the transport sector.

One major difference between flex-fuel and dual-fuel vehicles is that there is a common fuel tank in the former, while in the latter, the two fuels are stored separately – a typical example being the CNG / LPG cars.

Corolla Altis Hybrid powertrain and specifications

A 1.8-litre engine powers the Corolla Altis Hybrid. This engine develops 101 BHP and 142.2 Nm. A permanent magnet synchronous electric motor is also paired with the engine with an output of 72 BHP and 162.8 Nm. A 1.3 kWh battery pack is also part of the hybrid system. Both the electric motor and the hybrid powertrain are mated to a continuously variable (CVT) transmission.

The flex fuel Corolla Altis has been imported into the country to raise awareness about ethanol as an alternative fuel. This is one of the Government of India’s initiatives towards becoming ‘Atma Nirbhar’ in energy by 2047. One of the initiatives is to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.

Also Read – Flex fuel engines could soon become a reality in India?