UNICA, an association for the sugarcane industry and ethanol producers in Brazil, has been working with the Indian Government since 2021 to exchange knowledge and technology to step up ethanol production and promote adoption of ethanol as an alternative fuel solution for mobility.
As the global search for feasible alternative mobility solutions continues, ethanol has been put forward as a fuel source that cannot be ignored. To increase the usage of ethanol blended fuel, India’s challenge lies in convincing the automotive industry about the security of its entire process, says Evandro Gussi, President and CEO, UNICA, an association for the sugarcane industry and ethanol producers in Brazil.
Gussi, who represented UNICA at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) which took place in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh in November said that ethanol can reduce up to 90 percent of carbon emissions in mobility. “We have the infrastructure and technology for it, as can be seen in India with the recent launch of a hybrid flex fuel vehicle as part of Toyota’s pilot project. What the world wants to do in the future, with electrification, ethanol can achieve now, in the present” Gussi told Autocar Professional.
An inspiration for India, in this domain, could be the classic example of São Paulo’s ethanol programme which helped the largest Brazilian city witness a 50 percent reduction in particulate emissions despite nearly doubling its car fleet. Additionally, ethanol has reduced Brazil’s dependence on imported oil and substituted almost 50 percent of petrol with ethanol, saving around $180 billion worth of fossil fuel imports in the last 20 years, UNICA claims.
Japanese auto major Toyota had, in October, showcased the Corolla Altis Hybrid – its pilot project to test flex-fuel-powered cars in India. It is already on sale in markets like Brazil where the car is tuned to use ethanol-blended fuel (E85).
The Government of India, through the National Policy on Biofuels-2018, aims to increase usage of biofuels in the transportation sector towards energy security and climate change mitigation. During the ethanol supply period of 2020-2021 (December-November), a total of around 302 crore litres of ethanol was supplied to oil marketing companies (OMC) by distillers thereby reaching a pan-India average blending level of nearly eight percent. The Government mandate is to increase the blending levels to 10 percent by 2022 before taking it forward to 20 percent by 2025.
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