Nitin Gadkari urges carmakers to stop production and sale of diesel vehicles
Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, advised car makers on Wednesday to restrict the development and sale of diesel engines and instead encourage alternative technology.
Gadkari said the government is committed to providing vehicles with flex engines, which allow consumers the choice of running a vehicle on either 100 percent petrol or 100 percent bio-ethanol while speaking remotely at industry group SIAM's annual conference.
Nitin Gadkari said "I appeal the vehicle manufacturers to discourage the production and sale of diesel engine vehicles. Diesel-based pollution is extremely hazardous to the environment and human health. The industry must promote alternative fuel technologies and fund R&D (research and development) for alternative fuels".
"This will be immensely helpful in cutting our import bill and giving a direct benefit to our farmers, without a compromise on the environment," he added.
According to the minister, authorities from the petroleum ministry have assured him that ethanol pumps would be installed in every region of the nation shortly. He stated that the government has issued the Expert Committee on Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India by 2025 study, which outlines the gradual introduction of 20% ethanol blending in gasoline (E20) by 2025.
The minister also stated that the industry has a social obligation to guarantee that optional elements like retro-reflective tapes, handrails, an automated helmet sensing-cum-reminder system, and a stand detection system are fitted on all segments of vehicles for vehicular and rider safety.
"Green-hydrogen is the fuel for the future. We need to find appropriate technologies for its generation, transportation and storage," he said adding that low-cost electrolysers will be the game-changer in the energy ecosystem in India.
He emphasised that the goal was to bring Indian cars up to international standards in terms of crash safety, body design, and corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) criteria.
He also mentioned the need of improving bus body quality for passenger safety and comfort. High-tech and air-conditioned cabins in trucks and long-distance buses would make driving easier and reduce driver tiredness, which is a key cause of accidents in heavy-duty vehicles that travel long distances, he added.
Lastly, Gadkari said the government is promoting the adoption of cleaner and greener alternative fuels like ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, bio-CNG, LNG, electric and green-hydrogen fuel cell technology to reduce dependency on petrol and diesel.