Apart from encouraging carmakers in India to focus more on electric mobility, the Indian Government also wishes them to strategize about flex-fuel technology. The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, also was seen being driven in a Toyota Mirai, one of the most popular hydrogen-powered cars in the world, a few weeks ago. MoneyControl report now confirms that Toyota is planning to launch a flex-fuel-powered car on September 28th in India.
Like the Toyota Mirai works on the concept of utilizing more than one fuel option for the operation of its internal combustion engine. Here, a mixture of two or more fuel options enters the combustion engine, with the secondary fuel being ethanol in most cases. In India, the concept of flex-fuels is likely to combine the use of petrol and ethanol, as they are the most feasible fuel options currently available.
To make the engine suitable to run on the combination of two or more fuels, certain changes and modifications are required to change the ECU, so that it can determine the composition and ratio of fuels used. Apart from operating on the mixture of two fuels, say petrol and ethanol, a flex-fuel engine can also operate on 100 per cent petrol or 100 per cent ethanol. Currently, the concept of flex-fuel has already been adapted widely in countries like Brazil, Canada and the USA.
Likely to be Innova Crysta or Camry
It is still not clear which model is Toyota planning to come up with for flex-fuel operation. However, it might be an all-new model or a derivative of its popular models like Innova Crysta or Fortuner. Currently, Toyota is gearing up for the launch of perhaps its most important offering in recent times, the Urban Cruiser Hyryder SUV. The new midsize SUV takes on some popular names in the industry, such as Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun, MG Astor and the upcoming Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara. With the Urban Cruiser Hyryder, Toyota has introduced the concept of full-hybrid in the midsize SUV segment for the very first time in India.
In recent times, the Indian Government has introduced various rules and norms to encourage the automakers operating in the country for focusing on cleaner mobility solutions. The much-talked-about shift to BS6 emission norms and various subsidies given to hybrid and electric vehicles are a couple of prime examples of this encouragement. A few automakers have already shown interest in introducing flex-fuel-powered cars in the country in the coming months.
Toyota showcased Hydrogen-based Mirai
The government wants to develop pollution-free green hydrogen as an alternative fuel for vehicles in the future, for which the Toyota Mirai is used as the model for the pilot project. With this car, the government is studying the feasibility of the generation of hydrogen as a fuel, based on which hydrogen-filling stations will be established throughout the country. Gadkari feels that hydrogen-powered vehicles are the future of mobility in the country, along with electric vehicles, because of which cars like Toyota Mirai will arrive in the Indian car market very soon.
While Gadkari refrained from talking about the cost of Toyota Mirai or hydrogen as a fuel for the moment, he has already requested the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, to produce hydrogen using recycled water from sewage.