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Scania advocates use of alternative fuels in commercial vehicles

Swedish commercial vehicle maker Scania has met with government and industry officials to propose the use of alternative fuels such as biodiesel, ethanol and bio-gas. It said that alternative fuels can lower transporters’ operating costs, reduce emissions and control the nation’s dependence on imported fossil fuels with minimum investment. Jonas Stromberg, director, Sustainable Solutions at Scania CV AB, cited the possibility that India, with scanty oil reserves but one of the world’s largest acreages under sugarcane plantation, can evolve ethanol as the perfect auto fuel.
“We have a diesel engine that can operate on ethanol with very little modification, while meeting Euro 5 regulations. It’s better to switch to such fuels to reduce emissions than spend millions in upgrading refineries for better quality fuel,” Stromberg said, adding that some Scandinavian countries and other nations in South America such as Brazil, already have a high dependence on ethanol.
Biogas, produced from waste, and biodiesel, produced from jatropha or rapeseed, have also been cited as other alternative fuel options.
A Volkswagen Group company, Scania inaugurated a new facility near Bangalore in April where the company is investing Rs250 crore (US$3 billion). The plant will have a bus body factory and a production line to assemble truck bodies and chassis. The aim is to sell 3,000 trucks and 1,000 buses in five years. With bus export as one of its options, the company will compete in the premium segment that is dominated by Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Man. (September 18, 2012)