Bengaluru: With an emphasis on indigenous production, Union minister for Road Transport and Highways and MSME Nitin Gadkari has appealed to car manufacturers to give priority to flex engines, which can be used in vehicles using alternative fuels such as ethanol.

Meeting a delegation of carmakers from the Society of India Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday (02 February), the Minister said that, with ethanol beginning to be easily available in the country, and more than 70 per cent of gasoline consumption being done by two-wheelers, there is a need to develop indigenous technology for flex fuel vehicles, reports Swarajya. 

The minister tweeted that the flex engines provide an option to run on more than one type of fuel and will reduce emissions when used on ethanol. This will greatly reduce the country's dependence on fuel imports and boost the agricultural economy.

Discussions were also held regarding the request by SIAM to postpone implementation of BS VI CAFÉ Phase II regulations to 1st April 2024, on the grounds that the industry is still recovering from the impact of COVID, and slow consumer demand.

While agreeing to examine the request, Gadkari made it clear to them that Indian automobile industry must have world-class quality, and that if the industry is meeting stringent anti-pollution standards in countries to which they are exporting vehicles, the same standards must be adhered to in India as well, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.

The Minister has asked the delegation to come back next month with a detailed study on what steps have been taken by the industry on meeting the BS VI Phase I standards, and the financial implications of going ahead with BS VI CAFE Phase II standards, before a final decision can be taken on the demand to postpone its implementation.