Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday asked vehicle manufacturers to discourage production and sale of diesel engine vehicles, and urged them to promote other technologies.
Addressing industry body SIAM's annual convention virtually, Gadkari said the government is committed to delivering vehicles with flex engines that give the users an option to run a vehicle on either 100 per cent petrol or 100 per cent bio-ethanol.
The minister said he is looking forward to the industry for quick roll-out of E20-compatible vehicles.
E20 is a blend of 20 per cent ethanol and 80 per cent petrol.
"This will be immensely helpful in cutting our import bill and giving a direct benefit to our farmers, without a compromise on the environment," he said.
Gadkari also said flex engine-based vehicles are already running in the US, Brazil and Canada, and a few of these brands are successfully operating in India also.
"The technology is readily available, and it is just a matter of time to take that leap which will transform the transport landscape of India forever," Gadkari noted.
The minister said he has been informed by the petroleum ministry officials that ethanol pumps will soon be started in every district of the country.
He said the government has released the report of the Expert Committee on Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India by 2025, which discusses the gradual roll-out of 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol (E20) by 2025.
The minister also emphasised that the industry must also take upon itself a social responsibility to ensure that some optional features like retro-reflective tapes, hand-rails, automatic helmet sensing-cum-reminder system and stand detection system, are installed across all segments of vehicles for vehicular and rider safety.
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