At this SIAM’s annual convention, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari gave a clear signal that the government is focusing on encouraging flex engines. He addressed that the upcoming vehicles should be either a hundred percent petrol or a hundred percent bio-ethanol. This comes after a lot of new plans to help reduce diesel-based pollution in the country and help not only save the citizens from health hazards but preserve the existing environment to prevent further damage. The plan is to slowly eradicate the production of the diesel-run engines in the country so that India gets one step further towards its goal of a better and safe environment for all.
The convention was held on the 25th of this month, where the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari asked the auto makers of our nation to stop and discourage the sale and production of the diesel engine vehicles. He also asked the auto manufacturers to pledge to this cause and look forward to the use of other technologies as a substitute for the diesel-run vehicles. At the conference, Nitin Gadkari said that,
“I appeal the vehicle manufacturers to discourage the production and sale of diesel engine vehicles. Diesel-based pollution is extremely hazardous to the environment and human health. The industry must promote alternative fuel technologies and fund R&D (research and development) for alternative fuels”.
He also said that he is expecting a quick roll out of the E20 compatible vehicles from the industry. The E20 that was mentioned at the convention is said to be a blend of 20 percent ethanol and 80 percent petrol. There will be added advantages with the E20 roll out as per the statement made by the minister,
“This will be immensely helpful in cutting our import bill and giving a direct benefit to our farmers, without a compromise on the environment,”.
Gadkari also mentioned about the current use of the flex-engine based vehicles in other countries such as in the US, Canada, and Brazil, which were manufactured by the brands that have been operating in India as well. Pertaining to the use of the flex-engine technology in India, he said,
“The technology is readily available, and it is just a matter of time to take that leap which will transform the transport landscape of India forever.”
The adaptation of the E20 has begun as the minister said that the petroleum ministry officials had informed him about the opening of the ethanol pumps. These ethanol pumps will be established in every small district of the country. The report by the Expert Committee on Roadmap for Ethanol blending in India was released by the government. The report said that there will be a gradual roll-out of 20 percent E20 in India by 2025.
The vehicular and rider safety was also one of the agendas that were mentioned in the convention. The auto-makers were asked to use various features and technologies to ensure vehicular and rider safety by the minister. Some of the features and technologies could be the use of retro-reflective tapes. Hand-rails, automatic-helmet sensing-cum reminder system, etc. The minister said that the manufacturers should take this as their social responsibility to adopt such features in their vehicles.
The ministry makes some other advances to ensure a greener and better tomorrow by the adoption of technology through research and development. One such advancement would be the hydrogen fuel cells vehicles (HFCVs). The ministry is looking up to the use of technologies, said the minister.
“Green-hydrogen is the fuel for the future. We need to find appropriate technologies for its generation, transportation, and storage,” said the minister.
The aim of the ministry is to find a solution that will be sustainable for the future. The minister further emphasized that the low-cost electrolyzers have the potential to bring a huge benefit for the energy ecosystem in our country.
Considering the current safety conditions of the vehicles that are manufactured in India, the ministry has asked the auto industry to manufacture vehicles in accordance with the International standards. The minister emphasized several times to focus on following standards in terms of crash safety body, body designs, and corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) Norms. The need for improvement in the bus body quality is the need of the hour, said the minister. These improvements will increase the safety of the on boarded passengers as well as will also ensure more comfort. There should be an attempt to inculcate various high-tech features in trucks and long-run buses with an aim to provide ease of driving and reduce driver fatigue as much as possible. Driver fatigue has proven to be very dangerous for other vehicles nearby as well as the driver and co-passengers too. A provision could also be made for the installation of AC cabins in the trucks and buses to give more ease while driving. The minister said that “Our exports have risen to the international market,” suggesting that there has been a rise in trust shown by the International market in Indian vehicles.
The government is aligned with the movement to develop a greener auto industry. To achieve the greener auto industry more quickly and viably, the need is to develop low-cost ingenious battery tech. “Development of charging infrastructure is very important for EV adoption,” said the minister. He also mentioned that the government is promoting renewable energy sources for the charging mechanism for electric vehicles. The more greener options are explored by the government to quickly substitute it with the currently present diesel and petrol. The minister, Nitin Gadkari, also emphasized that cleaner alternatives such as ethanol, methanol, bio-CNG, biofuel, hydrogen fuel cell technology, LNG, and electric technology will be promoted by the government to ensure a greener tomorrow.