Flex-Fuel Strong Hybrid EV:
Union Minister for Road, Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari has unveiled the Toyota Corolla Altis Flex-fuel car, which has been touted as first of its kind pilot project on Flexi-Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FFV-SHEV) in India. This project intends to examine whether ethanol-powered flex-fuel vehicles can be viable in Indian conditions.
As a part of this project:
- Collected data will be shared with the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, for conducting a deeper study about the well-to-wheel carbon emissions of FFV / FFV-SHEV in the Indian context.
- In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
- The flex-fuel production has already commenced in India with three grades namely E95, E90, E85 initially developed. The nomenclature of the aforementioned fuel grades is based on the percentage of petrol againt the percentage of ethanol mix.
- The flex-fuel sedan was imported from Toyota Brazil. Powered by a 1.8L ethanol petrol hybrid engine, it runs on fuel with ethanol content ranging between 20-100 per cent while generating a power output of nearly 101 bhp and torque performance of 142 Nm. The petrol engine is paired with a 1.3 kWh battery which churns out 72 bhp and 163 Nm. This powertrain combination is linked to a CVT gearbox.
Earlier, Gadkari had also inaugurated another pilot project of Toyota as the company introduced the hydrogen-powered Mirai sedan in India. It is fairly evident that the Indian government is aggressively pushing for alternative fuel for vehicles to reduce dependency on oil imports. Furthermore, due to their environment-friendly nature, these vehicles also help in getting rid of pollution.