Toyota Kirloskar unveils electrified flex fuel vehicle prototype
Photo courtesy of Toyota Kirloskar

Toyota Kirloskar unveils electrified flex fuel vehicle prototype

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) recently showcased a groundbreaking prototype in India: the world’s first BS 6 Stage II Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicle. This unveiling marks a significant stride in the automotive industry, aligning with India’s push for cleaner energy and reduced carbon emissions.

The transport sector in India is responsible for approximately 50% of the country’s oil demand. With the energy consumption in this sector projected to double by 2030, there’s a pressing need for sustainable solutions. Ethanol, derived from renewable sources like sugarcane, food grains, and biomass, presents a viable alternative to petrol. Over the past decade, ethanol blending in India’s petrol has seen a substantial increase, leading to significant savings on oil imports and a reduction in carbon emissions.

The prototype introduced by TKM combines the benefits of flex fuel engines and electric powertrains. This combination not only allows for a higher substitution of petrol with ethanol blends but also ensures improved fuel efficiency, especially during electric mode driving. Such vehicles can play a pivotal role in fully utilising India’s surplus ethanol post-2025.

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari unveiled the prototype, emphasising its adherence to India’s stringent emission standards. He was joined by other key government officials and industry leaders, including Union Minister of Heavy Industries Mahendra Nath Pandey and Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri.

Masakazu Yoshimura, managing director and CEO of TKM, highlighted the company’s commitment to fostering a carbon-neutral mobility society. He stated that the next steps for the prototype, based on the Innova Hycross model, would involve further calibration, homologation and certification.

Toyota’s initiative is a testament to the collaborative efforts between industry and government to position India as a global hub for cleaner technologies. With the anticipated implementation of E20 blending by April 2025, the country is poised to achieve significant environmental and economic benefits.