Delhi : We’ve been hearing more and more about flex-fuel technologies over the last few years. It is not a recent invention because flex-fuel vehicles first gained popularity in the middle of the 1990s. But recently, a number of automakers have begun to talk more and more about their intention to release flex-fuel automobiles or motorcycles. The government has been vigorously promoting this technology in India, which has encouraged the automakers to concentrate more on this market. Flex-fuel technology has become more well-known as the focus on cleaner, greener fuel and powertrain solutions has grown.
The Toyota Innova is now both the first vehicle in the nation and the entire globe to have a flex-fuel engine that can run exclusively on ethanol. This has fueled the debate over this cleaner and greener fuel and powertrain technology even further.
Flex fuel: what is it?
Flex fuel, commonly referred to as flexible fuel, is a substitute fuel that is created by mixing gasoline with methanol or ethanol. Vehicles with flex-fuel capabilities have internal combustion engines that can use more than one kind of fuel. These engines are capable of running on gasoline, ethanol, or methanol.
The flex-fuel engines in India are made to run on both gasoline and ethanol. In addition to India, the US and Brazil have also been placing more emphasis on flex-fuel technologies. The only significant differences between flex-fuel vehicles and petrol-only variants are a few tweaks to the engine and fuel system.
Benefits of flex fuel
Flex-fuel has various advantages for drivers, the nation, and the environment. Flex fuel, which blends gasoline and ethanol, is more affordable for drivers than conventional gasoline. This implies that gasoline blended with ethanol is less expensive, saving the owner of the car a lot of money immediately.
For a nation like India, increasing ethanol production for flex fuel entails an increased focus on the ingredients utilized in the production of ethanol, such as corn and sugarcane. By doing this, a significant portion of the money used to purchase crude oil can be given to Indian farmers, enabling them to expand and boosting the national economy.
Ethanol is greener and cleaner for the environment than regular gasoline. Compared to burning regular gasoline, burning ethanol doesn’t release as much pollution into the atmosphere. Decreased exhaust emissions from using ethanol-based flex fuel in automobiles will thereby benefit the environment.
Flex-fuel has certain drawbacks in addition to its many benefits for the economy and environment. Possible engine damage, less fuel efficiency, and a lack of infrastructure are a few of these. Flex fuel contains various contaminants that can harm engines because it contains a blend of ethanol from agricultural sources in addition to clean petrol. Because ethanol readily absorbs dirt, it may cause corrosion and damage to the complicated elements of the engine.
When estimating the total cost of vehicle ownership, mileage or fuel economy continue to be key concerns for all automobile owners. Lower mileage has historically been associated with flex fuel or gasoline blended with ethanol. This means that your flex fuel vehicle can travel a lesser distance than an ICE driven exclusively by gasoline. In a nutshell, employing flex fuel results in a longer-term increase in the cost of ownership.
In India, the infrastructure and understanding needed to support the flex fuel ecosystem have not yet materialized to a satisfying degree. Therefore, it may be difficult for owners of flex fuel vehicles to obtain flex fuel.