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Gadkari, Nitish inspect flex-engine bike from Bajaj


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today inspected the flex- engine bike manufactured by Bajaj Auto.

The development comes barely days after Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari had said that two major bike makers are expected to come up with flex engine motorcycles by the month-end.

A flex-fuel or dual fuel vehicle is capable of operating on both petrol and ethanol.

"Gadkari and Kumar inspected the flex-engine bike along with auto rickshaws on ethanol and electric. The bike is still to be launched in the market," an official said.

Keen to promote electric vehicles fleet as well as vehicles on alternative fuel like ethanol, Gadkari has also been emphasising the need to enhance ethanol output in a bid to move towards ethanol-based transportation.

"By the end of this month, two two-wheeler manufactures have promised to come up with electric as well as flex-engine motorcycles which can run both on petrol and ethanol," Gadkari had said last week.

He also said both bikes are expected to hit the market soon.

"These can be run on 100 per cent petrol and 100 per cent ethanol," the minister said.

Gadkari has also emphasised the need to diversify agriculture towards power and energy by producing ethanol.

The country incurs a huge Rs 7 lakh crore on import bills of crude and if "we save even Rs 2 lakh crore out of this by indigenous ethanol, it will turn around the agriculture economy," the minister had said.

Gadkari said the government is working towards policies to encourage ethanol, which can be easily produced from wheat straw, rice straw, bamboo and other produce.

"One tonne of rice straw can produce 280 litres of ethanol and give rise to new industries. It is not only import substitute but cost effective, pollution free and clean fuel," he asserted.

There is a need to change the crop pattern if there is surplus crop towards ethanol production, the minister said, adding when America, Brazil and Canada can run vehicles like Mercedes, BMW, Ford or Toyota on flex engine, why can't automobile players do the same here.

He said one litre of ethanol would cost about half the petrol price and urged the need for massive bamboo plantation in the north-east for ethanol.

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First Published: Jan 31 2018 | 8:15 PM IST

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