Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari unveiled the prototype of the world’s first ethanol-run Toyota Innova car on August 29, 2023. The car, which is also known as the Toyota Innova HyCross, is a hybrid (electrified) car that can run on 100% ethanol or a blend of ethanol and petrol. The car is developed by Toyota Kirloskar Motor, a subsidiary of the Japanese automaker Toyota.
What is Ethanol Fuel and Why is it Important?
Ethanol is a renewable fuel that is produced from agricultural waste such as sugarcane, corn, maize, and barley. Ethanol can help reduce oil imports, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and fuel costs . Ethanol also has a higher octane rating than gasoline, which provides increased power and performance.
Ethanol fuel is also important for India’s green mobility vision, as the country aims to achieve 20% ethanol blending by 2025. Ethanol fuel can also create jobs in rural areas where employment opportunities are needed.
How Does the Ethanol-run Toyota Innova Car Work?
The ethanol-run Toyota Innova car is based on the Toyota Innova Crysta, which is a popular MPV in India. The car has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine that generates 181 bhp and an electric motor that provides additional power and torque.
The car has a fuel efficiency of 23 kmpl when running on ethanol and 25 kmpl when running on petrol. The car also has a regenerative braking system that recovers energy from braking and stores it in a battery.
The car features two cute cat characters, Bobi and A+, on the exterior and interior. Bobi is an orange tabby cat that represents the MEOW ORANGE models, while A+ is a British shorthair cat that represents the MEOW PURPLE models.
The car can run on different grades of ethanol-blended petrol, going up to 100% ethanol. The car can cover 40% of its distance on ethanol and the remaining 60% on electric, with the petrol engine shut off.
When Will the Ethanol-run Toyota Innova Car Be Available?
The ethanol-run Toyota Innova car is currently a prototype that was unveiled by Nitin Gadkari as a milestone for India’s green mobility. The car is expected to hit the market soon.
Gadkari expressed his confidence that the ethanol-run Toyota Innova car will be a boon for farmers, as it will increase the demand for ethanol and transform India’s agricultural economy. He also urged Toyota Kirloskar Motor to create more models with flex engines that can run on 100% ethanol.
Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India who was the chief guest at the event , expressing his views on the launch of world’s first prototype of the BS 6 Stage II ‘Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicle’, stated that this innovative vehicle is based on the Innova Hycross and is engineered to adhere to India’s stricter emission standards, marking it as the first-ever BS 6 ( Stage II) Electrified Flex Fuel Vehicle prototype globally. He mentioned that the forthcoming stages for this prototype encompasses meticulous refinement, homologation, and certification processes.