Toyota Motor has introduced a groundbreaking vehicle, the world’s first fully ethanol-powered car featuring a flex-fuel engine. This innovative model, based on the popular MPV Innova HyCross, was officially launched on August 29 in the presence of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Remarkably, the electrified flex-fuel Innova HyCross not only relies on an alternative fuel source but can also self-generate electric power and operate in an electric vehicle (EV) mode. This prototype of the electrified Innova HyCross flex-fuel aligns with the latest emission standards, known as Bharat Stage 6 (Stage 2).
The Toyota Innova HyCross flex-fuel MPV is uniquely designed to exclusively run on ethanol, a plant-derived fuel known as E100. Furthermore, it incorporates a lithium-ion battery pack capable of supplying ample power to enable EV mode operation. As of now, there is no confirmed release date for the production version of the electrified Innova HyCross flex-fuel.
Distinguishing the flex-fuel version from the hybrid variant of the Innova HyCross available in India, the flex-fuel iteration showcases slight differences. In contrast, the Innova HyCross hybrid employs a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine generating 181 bhp, delivering a fuel efficiency of 23.24 kmpl. This engine is paired with an e-CVT transmission.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari consistently advocates for the adoption of alternative fuels to mitigate the costly import of crude oil, which is refined to produce conventional fuels like petrol and diesel. The shift to alternative fuels also aims to combat pollution and thereby reduce India’s carbon emissions. During the launch event, Gadkari highlighted, “Vehicle emissions account for 40 percent of pollution in our country, significantly affecting residents of Delhi.”
In the same year’s March, Toyota Motor introduced India’s first-ever all-hydrogen electric vehicle, the Mirai, as part of a collaborative initiative with the International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT). The Toyota Mirai FCEV stands as a pioneering hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, operating solely on electricity generated from pure hydrogen. It’s renowned as a true zero-emission vehicle, emitting only water from its exhaust.