Govt may issue guidelines for ‘flex-fuel’ vehicles by October

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Source: Business Standards

Relevance: Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) can increase fuel efficiency and decrease pollution. This concept can be used in answer writing of both topics.

Synopsis: Some challenges should be addressed before the adoption of flexible fuel vehicles.


  • The government is considering the use of flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) to ensure increased use of bio-fuels for running vehicles. For that, it is also working on an incentive scheme to promote manufacture and use of flex engines in vehicles.
  • Auto companies may soon be asked to manufacture passenger and commercial vehicles that run on multiple fuel configurations. It is aimed at reducing the use of polluting fossil fuels.

What are flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs)?

  • An FFV is a modified version of vehicles that could run both on gasoline and doped petrol with different levels of ethanol blends.
  • These are currently being used successfully in Brazil, giving people the option to switch fuel (gasoline and ethanol) depending on price and convenience.
  • For India, FFVs will present a different advantage as they will allow vehicles to use different blends of ethanol mixed petrol available in different parts of the country.
  • FFVs will allow vehicles to use all the blends and also run-on unblended fuel.

 Challenges that need to be addressed before the adoption of flexible fuel vehicles policy

  • Introduction of FFVs will require adoption of vehicle standards, technologies and retrofitting configurations.
  • If standards on FFVs are made mandatory, it would require additional investment in production lines and technology transfers to change the character of the vehicles.
  • Already the use of 10 per cent ethanol blended petrol and introduction of BS VI fuel have added to the cost of making a vehicle
  • Most significantly, Ethanol production in India needs to be increased. Due to short supplies and transportation challenges, 10 per cent blended petrol is available only in 15 states while bio-fuel in other states varies between 0 and 5 percent.


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