The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari launched the world's first 100 percent ethanol-fueled variant of Toyota's Innova HyCross car on 29 August 2023. The Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Puri was also present on the occasion .
The launch of the vehicle is in line with the government's policy drive to decrease India's dependency on imported petroleum and shift away from fossil fuels.
Last year, Gadkari introduced the Toyota Mirai EV, which runs on purely hydrogen-generated electricity.
Toyota's Innova HyCross is the world's 1st prototype compliant BS-6 (Stage II) ‘electrified flex fuel vehicle’ developed by Toyota Kirloskar Motor.
Bharat Stage -6 stage II norms were implemented in India on 1 April 2023.It has introduced strict limits on the emission of pollutants from vehicles.
Bharat Stage is a pollution emission standard specified by the government of India to regulate the pollutant emitted from vehicles. The BS norms are based on the European Emission Standards (Euro norms) and were first set in 2000.
According to a statement by Toyota, the ethanol-fueled variant of Toyota Innova will be the world's first BS-VI (Stage-II) electrified flex-fuel vehicle. Last year, Gadkari introduced the Toyota Mirai EV, which runs on purely hydrogen-generated electricity.
Flex-fuel compatible cars have internal combustion engines and can run on more than one type of fuel or on a mixture of fuel . It typically runs on a petrol or blend of petrol and ethanol. Till now, the maximum limit of mixing of ethanol with petrol was around 83 per cent but this model is said to run on 100 percent ethanol.
What is Ethanol?
Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, or alcohol) is a biofuel .In India it is derived from sugarcane molasses, agri-residues like rice & wheat straw, cane trash, corn cobs etc.
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 percent ethanol blending with petrol by 2025-26.
Benefits of using biofuels
Currently India imports Rs 16 lakh crore of crude oils per annum . It imports around 83 % of its crude petroleum oil requirement . The Increasing use of biofuels will help in reducing import and save precious foreign exchange.
Adoption of biofuel is also expected to reduce air pollution . According to a government report, higher reductions in carbon monoxide emissions were observed with fuel blended with 20% ethanol . The emission of carbon monoxide was 50% lower in two-wheelers and 30% lower in four-wheelers.
Toyota Kirloskar Motors Private Limited
Toyota Kirloskar Motors Private Limited was set up in 1997 . It is a joint venture company set up by Toyota Motors Corporation of Japan and Kirloskar group of India . The Japanese company holds 89 % share in the company and Kirloskar holds the remaining 11 %.
Headquarters : Bengaluru, Karnataka
Managing Director : Masakazu Yoshimura