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Two manufacturers will soon launch two-wheelers that run on both petrol and ethanol: Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that two major two-wheeler manufacturers will soon come up with electric and flex engine motorcycles for the Indian market “by the end of this month”.

  A flex engine would mean that the two-wheeler will be capable of running on petrol or on ethanol. The flex two-wheelers “can be run on 100 percent petrol and 100 percent ethanol”, the minister added.

 The transport minister has been repeatedly talking about the huge import bills; the country spends about Rs 7 lakh crore on import bills and his aim is to save at least Rs 2 lakh crore which will be possible through the use of alternative fuel like ethanol. In fact the shift to ethanol ‘will turn around the agriculture economy’.

 The transport minister said that ethanol can be easily produced  form wheat straw, rice straw, bamboo and other produce, and went on to explain that the government is working on policies to promote use of ethanol.

"One tonne of rice straw can produce 280 litres of ethanol and give rise to new industries. It is not only import substitute but cost effective, pollution free and clean fuel," he asserted.

 There is a need to change the crop pattern if there is surplus crop towards ethanol production, the minister said adding when America, Brazil and Canada can run vehicles like Mercedes, BMWFord or Toyota on flex engine, why can't automobile players do the same here.

 He said one litre of ethanol would cost about half the petrol price and urged the need for massive bamboo plantation in the North East for this.

 The minister said instead of setting up refineries at a cost of Rs 70,000 crore, India could go for massive bamboo plantation to obtain ethanol. The minister said plans are afoot to gradually convert transport to electric, ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, bio CNG and other such means.

 The minister also said electric buses will be promoted and using super capacitor technology, a charged bus can run for 36 km and will be charged in 3 minutes

 He said about a dozen companies have started manufacturing lithium ion batteries and the prices have dropped by 50 per cent and added that recently in Gurgaon a green transport fleet of 1,000 electric auto-rickshaws was launched.


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