Focus: GS III: Environment and Ecology
Why in News?
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Launched Toyota’s first of its kind pilot project on Flexi-Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FFV-SHEV) in India which would run on 100% petrol as well as 20 to 100% blended ethanol and electric power.
Flex fuel technology
- A flex fuel, or flexible fuel, vehicle has an internal combustion engine (ICE), but unlike a regular petrol or diesel vehicle, this can run on more than one type of fuel, or even a mixture of fuels.
- The most common versions use a blend of petrol and ethanol or methanol, but these engines are also equipped to run on 100 percent petrol or ethanol as well.
- This is made possible by equipping the engine with a fuel mix sensor and an engine control module (ECM) programming that senses and automatically adjusts for any ratio of designated fuels.
- When ethanol is used in blending, dangerous emissions like carbon monoxide, sulphur, and carbon and nitrogen oxides are significantly reduced.
- Blending will reduce the amount of oil that must be imported to refuel cars.
- Countries like Brazil have the flexibility to change the mix’s intensity in response to changes in crude oil prices and rising energy costs.
- The prerequisite being that the fleet of vehicles has been given the necessary equipment to adapt to this fuel mix to varied degrees.
- A flex fuel car typically takes a small hit on fuel efficiency when using ethanol for motive power, ranging from between 4 percent and 8 percent.
- • Crops like sugarcane are frequently very water-intensive.
- According to an NITI Aayog report, sugarcane alone accounted for over 90% of the nation’s ethanol production in 2019–20.