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Old 2nd March 2021, 18:21   #1
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Default Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has requested vehicle manufacturers in India to build flex engines that run on more than just one type of fuel. These engines are claimed to produce lesser emissions when running on ethanol.

Apart from reducing vehicular emissions and, in turn, pollution levels, the government claims that flex engines will reduce the country's dependence on fuel imports and boost the agricultural economy.

The minister met a team of delegates of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), which wanted the government to defer the corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) norms. These norms, which are to be implemented from 2022, will set the standard fuel economy target by vehicle weight or size. They will ensure that automakers produce fuel-efficient vehicles with lesser CO2 emissions.

By the year 2030, India is looking to reduce greenhouse gas emission intensity of its GDP by 33%-35% below 2005 levels.

Link to Team-BHP News Article

Source: ET Auto
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Old 2nd March 2021, 18:34   #2
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

Maybe the guy writing this diktat hasn’t seen what’s been happening to the poor souls who’ve been buying our regular engines.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 18:39   #3
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

Whenever it comes to environmental pollution, people are quick to jump the gun on new ICE cars but I think this is a very myopic view. PUCs are being handed out indiscriminately, so many cars which pollute 10 times as much as a new car are being allowed to run on the roads.

Here in Panipat, I've seen plastic waste being burnt in city outskirts for the last 4 months. In this season, people also have a tendency of burning the leaves (??). Such pointless activities lead to insane amount of pollution that's never checked on, yet everybody's quick to target new cars. I just don't get it. We should look to reduce the absolutely pointless pollution first. I swear I'll go insane if I see people burning stuff indiscriminately while our policymakers go overboard with EV push and the like.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 18:51   #4
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
These norms, which are to be implemented from 2022, will set the standard fuel economy target by vehicle weight or size. They will ensure that automakers produce fuel-efficient vehicles with lesser CO2 emissions.

By the year 2030, India is looking to reduce greenhouse gas emission intensity of its GDP by 33%-35% below 2005 levels.
In order to achieve emissions standards, wouldn't that force manufacturers to skimp on safety features, to use thin metal sheets in order to make cars lighter ?
I'm clueless here as to how it will be implemented.
Does it also mean if a particular vehicle doesn't give "standard fuel economy" can we, owners, sue manufacturer ?
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Old 2nd March 2021, 19:23   #5
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

If they want to address pollution, they have to start with the government fleet and public sector transport corporations. Then the trucking businesses. The salaried class is paying taxes at multiple levels - between IT, road tax, fuel tax and GST, I seem to be paying close to 50% of my salary in taxes - and get nothing in return. This will only make cars more expensive and introduce newer points of failure in already unreliable cars.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 19:27   #6
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

I am fed up of these quixotic ideas frankly. There doesn’t seem to be any serious research and analysis on what exactly are India’s needs, how will any future approaches affect private and public transport, MOST importantly what kind of Urban planning is being envisaged for the next 10-20 years.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 19:38   #7
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

South American markets tried their hands with cars running on high ethanol content. Ask them how it turned out in the end. Seriously people elect policy makers who have basic understanding of their portfolios. A country producing so many million engineers who cannot find enough jobs yet some of the most clueless folks get elected to make decisions that don'tale sense.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 22:19   #8
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

Our government always seems to go the opposite direction of what is required. Asking manufacturers to invest in any sort of an 'invention' so to say requires massive amounts of money and manpower. At a time where all economies are going towards their 'mission-e', we seem to be going backwards. Electric IMHO is the only way forward.

On the other hand, maybe if the infrastructure itself were to be bettered, that would definitely result in decreased emissions. At the moment cars in big cities like Mumbai spend more time in neutral gear than in motion. This seems to be a counterproductive move as there is an opportunity cost for all decision.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 23:47   #9
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

At the risk of sounding critical, GoI doesn't know how to tackle emissions from transportation. USA and a bunch of other countries have tried this and failed.

There are multiple challenges:
1. Food security is an issue in India. Our valuable agricultural land should be used for feeding people & exporting crops, not making ethanol
2. Farm subsidies required to grow corn for ethanol
3. More expensive vehicles with upgraded fuel systems & engines

GoI should have subsidized hybrids back in 2010. Too late, the horse has long left the barn - but we should capitalize on implementation of EVs ASAP.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 01:08   #10
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

I will hazard a guess that this is due to the push from the sugarcane lobby. Sugarcane will be used to produce ethanol. Thus, rather than depending on only one market (read edible sugar), they will now have another market. This will ensure that they continue to get high prices for their crops.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:29   #11
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

I guess I need to pick up my next ICE car before this new monstrosity called CAFE kicks in which will either jack up prices, compromise safety or severely deteriorate performance.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:46   #12
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has requested vehicle manufacturers in India to build flex engines that run on more than just one type of fuel. These engines are claimed to produce lesser emissions when running on ethanol.
Don't we already have it with CNG / petrol fuelled cars? One of my friends had it installed (the legal CNG kit). A flick of the switch and he could select which type of fuel.
Also, if I am not mistaken Wagon R used to come with this as a standard factory option.

On a related note, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) is co-operative industrial research association by the automotive industry with the Ministry of Industries, Government Of India, which was founded in 1966.
Does anyone know if they have done any research on flex engines? Does their research lead to development of any prototypes?
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:32   #13
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

Utter stupidity. India is among the most water stressed nations in the world. Growing sugar cane, even for food production, is craziness of the highest order - great for individual farmers, but leading to a declining water table, and creating problems for the future. Producing ethanol as a fuel from molasses would be even stupider, leading to a greater incentive for farmers to grow sugar cane. Bio fuels are not the solution for dealing with global warming, going for electric cars backed by solar power makes a lot more sense. Frankly, paying for fuel from the Middle East makes a lot more sense than wasting Indian farm land and water on fuel grade crops.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:43   #14
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

I have seen many FLEX fuel vehicles in USA. I don't think it is a bad idea as it is tried and tested.
Upon searching on FLEX fuel found below link. Posting the content for other's benefit.

Mods, please delete if you feel the content is not required and if the link alone is sufficient.

Source : https://www.caranddriver.com/researc...fuel-benefits/

Flex Fuel: Benefits and Disadvantages
Over the past few years, you've likely heard increasingly more about flex-fuel vehicles, even if you didn't fully understand what they were. Today, a number of known flex-fuel benefits exist. However, before investing in this type of vehicle, you should first understand what you're purchasing. Continue reading to learn about flex fuel and its pros and cons.

What Is Flex Fuel?
Flex fuel, or flexible fuel, is an alternative fuel made of a combination of gasoline and methanol or ethanol. Flex-fuel vehicles are those that have internal combustion engines designed to run on more than one type of fuel. Other than a few modifications to the engine and fuel system, says Kiplinger, flex-fuel vehicles are virtually identical to gasoline-only models.

This technology isn't new. It was first developed in the early 1990s and used in the mass-produced 1994 Ford Taurus, according to Car Bibles. By 2017, there were approximately 21 million flex-fuel vehicles on the road.

Flex Fuel Benefits
Let's look at some of the reasons you might want to consider making the switch to flex fuel.

1. Cleaner for the Environment
Car Bibles states that more people today are concerned about fuel consumption's effects on the environment. Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline, which means flex-fuel cars pump fewer toxic fumes into the environment. Flex fuel also contributes fewer greenhouse gases, making it a more environmentally friendly option than traditional gasoline.

2. Burning Facility
One of the greatest advantages of a flex-fuel vehicle is that is can burn whatever proportion of fuel mixture is in the combustion chamber. The car is equipped with electronic sensors that gauge the blend, and its microprocessors adjust the fuel injection and timing.

3. Advanced Technology
According to Car Bibles, modern flex-fuel vehicles are built using advanced technology such as electronic sensors. As mentioned, these technological advances allow your car to adjust the way it's operating, including detecting the fuel blend and making any necessary adjustments. Modern flex-fuel cars can contain 10 to 85 percent ethanol. Thanks to the technology it's equipped with, your vehicle will determine the most efficient proportions.

4. Sustainably Produced
Many flex-fuel vehicles run on ethanol, which is sustainably produced from ingredients such as cane sugar and corn. This makes ethanol a good alternative to purchasing foreign oil.

5. Tax Benefits
Consumers who drive flex-fuel cars receive tax credits that can significantly reduce or even eliminate their tax obligation.

6. Improved Performance
While some might argue that using an alternative fuel source can negatively impact a vehicle's performance, in reality it can have the opposite effect. Flex-fuel vehicles don't experience a loss in performance when using E85 fuel. In fact, some even generate increased torque and horsepower.

Disadvantages of Flex Fuel
Flex fuel does have some disadvantages you should be aware of before purchasing one of these vehicles.

1. Sole Crop Use
While it's great that flex fuel can be sustainably produced using corn and sugar, its production comes with a downside. Crops designed to be used for flex-fuel production can't be allocated to other sources. This could potentially drive up the price of animal feed. Corn is also susceptible to disease and weather conditions such as flooding and drought. This can be problematic for corn prices during poor harvests.

2. Possible Engine Damage
Obviously you want to treat your engine in the best way possible. Unfortunately, ethanol absorbs dirt easily, which can potentially corrode and damage your engine, says Car Bibles.

3. Gas Mileage
One of the main concerns about driving a flex-fuel car is its gas mileage. While some experts assert that flex-fuel vehicles have similar mileage as regular fuel-powered vehicles, others claim they have lower gas mileage.

While ethanol does raise a vehicle's octane level, it contains less energy. In other words, it will take 1.5 times more to provide the same energy levels. So, yes, you will get fewer miles per gallon using ethanol. However, ethanol costs less than regular gasoline, so the savings should more than offset the mileage loss.

4. Scarcity of Fuel Stations
Because flex fuel isn't as economical as gasoline, gas stations are less likely to carry it. In fact, only a small percentage of gas stations nationwide supply ethanol, although that is likely to change as more consumers purchase flex-fuel vehicles. The benefit of a modern flex-fuel vehicle, though, is that you can use any combination of gasoline and ethanol, whether it's 100 percent unleaded gas or 85 percent ethanol. Your vehicle's sensors will detect the blend and make the necessary changes.

Final Thoughts on Flex Fuel
The debates surrounding the pros and cons of flex fuel and flex-fuel vehicles aren't going away anytime soon. However, there does seem to be a move toward using ethanol as an environmentally friendly and economical fuel source. More ethanol refining plants are opening up, and even if you're not ready to transition to a flex-fuel vehicle yet, it's something to keep in mind for the future. Technology is always changing, so there's no way to predict what flex-fuel vehicles and advances could emerge over the next few years.

You could be driving a flex-fuel car already and not even know it. Flex-fuel vehicles typically look no different than other vehicles, but there are some signs you can look for. For example, many manufacturers put yellow gas caps on flex-fuel vehicles or a yellow ring where you insert the fuel nozzle. Other vehicles have labels on the fuel doors indicating they take flex fuel. If you do have a flex-fuel vehicle, you could switch to an alternative fuel source now, without having to go through the effort and expense of purchasing a new car.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:53   #15
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Default Re: Government wants carmakers to produce flex engines

CNG has its limitations, it cannot be efficiently transported over a distance, unlike fossil fuels.

With the amount of sugercane farming, we have a lot of capacity to produce ethanol. If it could be used effectively in the fuel mix, usage of petrol would reduce significantly.

Apart from the EVs, the hybrids, the CNGs, this push seems aimed squarely towards reducing the consumption of fossil fuels.
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