Maruti unveils India's first flex fuel prototype car

Business Wednesday 14/December/2022 07:28 AM
Maruti unveils India's first flex fuel prototype car

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India has showcased the Wagon R Flex Fuel prototype model in Delhi.

India's first mass-segment flex-fuel car, designed to run on any ethanol-petrol blend between 20 per cent ethanol and 85 per cent petrol, was unveiled in the presence of Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Monday. This car is designed and developed locally by engineers of Maruti Suzuki, with necessary support from Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan, according to a release shared with stock exchanges.

The Wagon R Flex Fuel prototype vehicle has an upgraded engine designed specifically to use higher ethanol-blended petrol. To make the engine compatible with higher ethanol blends (E20-E85), new fuel system technologies like heated fuel rail for cold start assist and ethanol sensor for ethanol percentage detection have been built, according to the statement from Maruti Suzuki.

Further, components like engine management system, upgraded fuel pump and fuel injector, among others, have been developed along with upgradation of other mechanical components to ensure engine as well as vehicle durability, the automobile firm said. To align to the latest regulations, Maruti Suzuki has developed engine management system strategies and emission control system to comply with the stringent BSVI Phase-II emission norms.

According to the statement, being the first-time development for such a technology for Indian conditions and being targeted to fully meet the stringent emission norms, Maruti Suzuki plans to do an extensive evaluation of this technology in the Indian market with Indian ethanol-blended fuel.

Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, said, "Maruti Suzuki has consistently aligned itself to the national objectives of reducing country's oil import burden and improving the environment. Designed and developed locally in India with support from SMC, Japan, the Wagon R Flex Fuel prototype vehicle emboldens the government of India's Make in India efforts."

"Notably, our research shows that ethanol fuel-based Wagon R Flex Fuel prototype vehicle operating on E85 (flex fuel) fuel will help reduce tailpipe GHG (greenhouse gases) by 79 per cent in comparison to a conventional gasoline Wagon R model... Further, India is the largest producer and consumer of sugar, and its second-largest exporter in the world. Ethanol made from processing crop waste, is ideal for an agrarian economy. This also gives an impetus to the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiative".

In line with the government of India's focus on promoting clean-fuel vehicles, Maruti Suzuki is working on a variety of technologies including electric, hybrid electric, CNG, bio-gas, ethanol, Flex-Fuel, etc. The company has already announced its commitment to make its entire product range E20 fuel material compliant by March 2023.