Flexi-Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FFV-SHEV)


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    • The Union minister for Road, Transport and Highways recently launched Toyota’s first of its kind pilot project on Flexi-Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FFV-SHEV) in India. 

    Flexi-Fuel Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FFV-SHEV): 

    • Characteristic features:
      • An FFV SHEV has a flex-fuel engine and an electric powertrain.
        • It thus provides a dual benefit of higher ethanol use and greater fuel efficiency, as it can run for a significant time period on its EV mode, wherein the engine is shut off.
      • These vehicles will run on 100% petrol as well as 20-100% blended ethanol and electric power.
    • Significance:
      • Pollution:
        • Pollution is a big concern in India and the transport sector is contributing to pollution.
        • Therefore, there is a need to encourage use of electric vehicles and vehicles that run on biofuels like ethanol and methanol.
      • AtmaNirbhar Bharat:
        • 6% to 8% increase in agricultural growth rate is necessary for ‘AtmaNirbhar’ Bharat. 
        • It is important to convert surplus foodgrain and sugar into ethanol to boost the rural economy.
      • Ecosystem of electric vehicles:
        • Success of this pilot project will create an ecosystem of electric vehicles. 
    • Global availability:
      • Flex-fuel vehicles are available in Brazil, the USA and Canada.
      • Ethanol is a major alternate fuel used globally and Brazil has the highest average blending of 48 per cent.

    More about Ethanol & Ethanol blending

    • What is Ethanol?
      • Ethanol can be produced from crops that have high starch content like sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc.
      • It is primarily produced from molasses, a derivative of sugar production. 
      • It is among the most important biofuels
    • Ethanol blending:
      • Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends. 
      • This blending is done by the oil marketing companies in their terminals. Once blended, the ethanol cannot be separated from the petrol.
      • Benefits:
        • As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution. 
        • Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered a renewable fuel.

    Source: TH