The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that he has advised automobile manufacturers in India to start producing Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV) and Flex Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FFV-SHEV) with BS-6 norms in a time bound manner within a period of six months in order to substitute India’s import of petroleum as a fuel and to provide direct benefits to farmers.

The minister said that in line with Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and government’s policy on promoting ethanol as a transport fuel, FFVs are capable to run on a combination of 100 per cent petrol or 100 per cent bio-ethanol and their blends, along with strong hybrid Electric technology in case of FFV-SHEVs.

“This move will drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles on a well-to-wheel basis, helping India to comply with its commitment made at COP26 to reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030,” the minister pointed out.

FFVs are vehicles that are capable of running on more than one fuel variant. Generally such vehicles are capable of operating on petrol or any blend of petrol and ethanol.

Government is enabling the use of various alternate fuels in an effort to shift from fossil fuels. In order to accelerate the introduction of FFVs, the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme has included automobile and auto components of flex fuel engines.

NITI Aayog, after acknowledging the strong foundation for the ethanol blending programme (EBP), has formulated the road map for ethanol blending for the period 2020-2025. It is expected that higher percentages of ethanol will be blended in gasoline in the next five years, requiring availability of flex engine vehicles.

The minister reiterated that immediate steps need to be taken to introduce flex fuel engine vehicles as this will help in checking the high import bill as well as will be beneficial for the environment.