India’s road transport ministry will release a draft of the vehicle emission standards that will apply to flexible fuel vehicles, specifically E85 and ED95. The move is aimed at facilitating the local manufacture of new engines that can run on these fuels. Indian vehicle testing agencies will be tasked with issuing “type approval” certificates to vehicle manufacturers.
“The newly manufactured petrol vehicles fitted with spark ignition engine compatible to run on petrol or a mixture of petrol and ethanol up to 85% ethanol blend (E85) shall be type approved as per prevailing petrol emission norms…The newly manufactured ethanol vehicle with gross vehicle weight above 3.5 tonnes compatible to run on 95% ethanol (ED95), shall be type approved as per prevailing diesel emission norms,” the draft notification said.
Buses and trucks fall under the category of vehicles that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes.
The ministry will review and incorporate suggestions from stakeholders before issuing the final regulation, a ministry official said. “The focus is to bring in new technology and facilitate the approval mechanism that will help reduce pollution and cut our dependence on petrol and diesel,” a ministry official said.
The apex advisory body on setting vehicle standards – CMVR-TSC – in its last meeting also took up the issue of facilitating the introduction and manufacturing of bio-CNG vehicles.
At present, only one 100% ethanol-fuelled bus is operating in Nagpur, which happens to be the parliamentary constituency of Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.