Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri asked automobile manufacturers to move from the prototype stage and start introducing green vehicles in the market, saying the time has come for biofuels and other clean energy technologies.
In his address at a symposium here at the Auto Expo 2023, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas said India has also advanced the 20 percent ethanol blending target to 2024-25 from 2030 and as a pilot E20 will be available in many pumps soon, ahead of the earlier schedule of April this year.
The minister earlier inaugurated the ‘Ethanol Pavilion’ at the expo where passenger vehicle makers — such as Maruti Suzuki and Toyota Kirloskar Motor along with two-wheeler majors TVS, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, Honda Motorcycle, Yamaha and Suzuki motorcycle — are displaying their working prototype of flex-fuel vehicles. These vehicles can take a range of ethanol blends varying from 20-85 percent.
“I want to congratulate you, and I’m delighted, because biofuels, and all the other clean energy, the time has come,” he said.
Puri said India is a place where it’s not just economies of scale but where “when we do something hundreds and thousands of people will follow”.
“So, whether it’s electric vehicles, whether it’s hybrid models…I want to tell both the domestic manufacturers and (international) manufacturers, I think the time has come, please move from the stage of the prototypes and start introducing the models in the market,” he noted.
The minister asserted that he is “100 percent confident that they will succeed” not just as an economic proposition for the manufacturers but for the green journey that India is undertaking in transitioning to total green sustainable fuel.
On ethanol blending, he said E10 fuel is now available in most parts of the country and the government is taking steps to enhance the level of blending.
“Insofar as E20 is concerned, we will have the rollout very soon…We are now taking it to E20 three months before the schedule. It was earlier scheduled for April of 2023. We are doing it now several months in advance,” Puri said, adding the fuel as a pilot would be available in many pumps.
At the symposium, a memorandum of understanding was also signed between the US Grains Council and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers for the clean energy partnership, aimed at knowledge transfer on ethanol technology.