Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicle
- 01 Sep 2023
- 5 min read
Why in News?
Recently, the Prototype of the world’s 1st Bharat Stage-6 (BS6) Stage-II, Electrified Flex fuel vehicle, developed by Toyota Kirloskar Motor was unveiled.
- This vehicle is capable of running on up to 85% ethanol blended petrol and features an electric powertrain.
- The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has also highlighted flex-fuel vehicles' potential to substitute petrol with higher ethanol blends beyond 20%.
- Flex-fuel vehicles (FFV): They have engines that can run on flexible fuel - a combination of Petrol/Diesel/Electric and ethanol, which can include up to 100% ethanol.
What are the Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicles?
- Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicle integrates both a Flex Fuel engine and an electric powertrain, offering the dual benefit of higher ethanol use and improved fuel efficiency.
- Flex Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FFV-SHEV): When FFV is integrated along with strong hybrid electric technology, it is referred as FFV-SHEVs.
- Strong hybrid is another term for full hybrid vehicles, which have the capability to run solely on either electric or petrol modes.
- In contrast, mild hybrids cannot run purely on one of these modes and use the secondary mode merely as a supplement to the main mode of propulsion.
- The integration of an electric powertrain reduces reliance on conventional fuels, contributing towards sustainable transportation and India's 'Aatmnirbhar Bharat' initiative as production of ethanol increases.
- Similar to SHEVs, this vehicle can achieve significantly higher fuel efficiency, optimizing the use of ethanol and electricity.
- By promoting the use of FFVs, India can capitalize on its abundant ethanol potential, reducing petrol consumption.
- The vehicle represents a significant stride towards decarbonization and greener mobility, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change.
What are BS6 (Stage II) Norms?
- BS6 Norms: The Bharat Stage (BS) norms are emission standards instituted by the Government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.
- BS6 Stage II: BS6(Stage II) has even stricter emission limits compared to the initial BS6 norms.
- BS6 (Stage II) incorporates Real Driving Emissions (RDE) and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE 2) and On-Board Diagnostics.
- The new RDE test figures will provide a more realistic estimation of the amount of emissions likely to be produced by vehicles in real traffic conditions with frequent changes in speed, acceleration, and deceleration.
- Onboard diagnostic (OBD) systems monitor and report the status and performance of various vehicle subsystems and sensors.
- Ethanol, a key biofuel produced through fermentation of sugars by yeasts or petrochemical methods.
- The Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) in India aims to decrease oil imports, curb emissions, achieve energy self-sufficiency, and doubling farmers' income, transitioning them to 'urjadata' while remaining 'annadata', and contributing to environmental improvement.
- The Government of India has advanced the target for 20% ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030.
- India has been increasing its ethanol blending in petrol from 1.53% in 2013-14 to 11.8% in August, 2023.
- Other Initiatives to Promote Ethanol Blending in India: