Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled its flex fuel hybrid sedan in India on Tuesday. It is introducing a pilot project in a market where the government pressures automakers to use cleaner fuels. A new flex-fuel vehicle is a possibility for the sugar industry.
The sedan is powered by flex-fuel technology, which allows the engine to work on fuel blended with a higher percentage of ethanol. It will reduce gasoline consumption. Toyota’s hybrid sedan was imported from Toyota Brazil.
Driving a flex-fuel vehicle is popular in Brazil
Still, the process of acceptance of electric vehicles in India should yet speed up. Anyway, the road transport minister seeks carmakers to grow flex-fuel engines that will use domestically sourced ethanol. Ethanol should become the dominant fuel, according to plans. It supposes to lower the country’s reliance on imported petrol.
Toyota Kirloskar’s vice chairman Vikram Kirloskar said at the launch in New Delhi that the pilot project will enhance India’s energy independence, in line with the government’s goal of energy self-sustainability by 2047.
India, a major producer of sugar, is eager to increase its use of ethanol. It is the same as in Brazil, a more significant sugar producer, where the selling of flex-fuel vehicles is now trendy.
The pilot’s goal is to see how the car works in India and to promote awareness of the new tech.
The world’s first hybrid flexible-fuel vehicle (Hybrid FFV) prototype debuted in March 2018 at a Toyota event in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A powerful combination of a flexible-fuel vehicle and Toyota’s hybrid system
The Brazilian prototype combined a flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) and Toyota’s well-known hybrid system. As we know, Toyota’s hybrid system incorporates a combustion engine and an electrical powertrain.
Toyota developed the Hybrid FFV powertrain system in order to popularize Hybrid Electric Vehicles in Brazil. The gain is on both sides. The reason is simple – Toyota wins, the environment wins too by lowering CO2 emissions.
The use of hybrid FFVs has the potential to reduce total CO2 emissions. Toyota’s hybrid system uses the CO2 reabsorption capacity of ethanol. It is a plant-derived 100% renewable fuel. Ethanol aims to achieve high energy efficiency and low emissions. The Toyota Prius, which was popular in Brazil at the time, served as the basis for the prototype.
Toyota’s preliminary research found that a hybrid FFV outperforms a standard FFV in terms of environmental performance.
Moreover, researches show that the results are even better when using only sugarcane-based ethanol (E100 fuel).