Following the government’s deadline, Maruti Suzuki is fully prepared to make its vehicles compatible with 20% ethanol blended fuel (E20) by March 2023; the E85 flex fuel engine is also in works.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH), Government of India pulled the strings for the early implementation of E20 ethanol blended petrol in 2021. The notification mentioned that the vehicle will run on E20 fuel with the 1st April 2023 as the deadline. The initial target to achieve E20 compatibility was set for 2030 which was later preponed to 2025. Now as the deadline is approaching, Maruti Suzuki Indian Limited (MSIL) has confirmed that its entire vehicle line-up will comply with the oncoming fuel norms.
Maruti Suzuki compliance with upcoming fuel norms: Details
E20 fuel is nothing but a mix of 20% ethanol and 80% petrol. The mass utilization of this biofuel comes with a host of benefits including controlled pollution levels, reduced financial burden of fuel imports on the government as well as promotion of agriculture and the sugarcane industry. Currently, the ethanol blend in the petrol stands at 10% going by the April 2022 deadline. The 10% ethanol mix is completely safe to use and the engines do not require any alteration to run on this fuel. However, to accommodate the E20 fuel certain modifications needs to be carried out to the engine, fuel system and related parts to withstand the corrosive nature of the E20 fuel. So these modifications come at a cost to car manufacturers, which include significant investments, changes in the assembly lines, and more. This is one of the reasons that this decision by the Government was not welcomed by car manufacturers. In line with this, going by some latest media reports, Maruti Suzuki is ready with the update to make its vehicle compatible with E20 fuel. Apart from this, India’s largest car manufacturer also expects the government to provide the E20 fuel at subsidised rates, in order to make up for the reduced fuel efficiency.
In another interesting development, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas has confirmed that the government is ready from the supply side to launch the E20 fuel in the country. Along with this, the new fuel will be available at select fuel stations across the country from April 2023.