Alternative Fuel for Automobiles

Alternative Fuel for Automobiles

Jaguar Land Rover India has launched its fully electric SUV, named as Jaguar I-Pace in India for the high customer segment, now ex Showroom in major Metro cities, but presently in Mumbai & Bangalore only. Known as a complete support EV, i.e. Electric Vehicle, the manufacturing company is setting up the fast-changing network for the adoption of this pollution-free vehicle across the country.

Amongst its niche customers are residents of high-rise buildings & societies, health-conscious people w.r.t environmental pollution, a luxury yet a robust mode of travel which is triggering the demand for these EVs.

The I-Pace is powered by a 90 kWh battery that delivers 294 KW with 696 km torque allowing the EV to speed up from 0 to 100 km/hr in just 4.8 secs. In short, it is one of the most powerful high-end Sedan and SUV combine, supported by charging solutions which is self-sufficient.

The Director of JLR India Ltd, states that Jaguar will be the all-electric luxury-branded vehicle by 2025. They have plans to manufacture six different variants of Land Rover within the next five years.

The next question that arises is the development in finding any other suitable fuel for automobiles, is replacing polluting hydrocarbon-based fuels?

There is a big activity in trying to produce a suitable fuel from Corn 🌽. You may know Industries can widely use Corn like for food, cosmetics, and Ethanol production which can be a sustainable and renewable source of future energy for running automobiles & surface transportation.

Advanced cultivation techniques, improved fertilization, and genetically high breed varieties have resulted in an increase in corn yield in the 20th Century. Most grasslands in U.S, Africa & Europe are being converted to croplands, but with loss of biodiversity, changes in the ecosystem& increase in GGE Greenhouse Gas Emission, which is a direct measure of their carbon yield.

As of date, the U.S is the foremost corn producer in the world followed by China, Brazil, and the E.U. Also, corn products are in high demand in the food market as corn grain, cornstarch, corn syrup & corn chips. Corn consumption is not only for humans, but a key feed for poultry and dairy cattle. However, along with this demand, the proposal for producing corn-based alcohol is the reason for its escalating cost in the market.

While undertaking research to convert corn to automotive fuel, the advantages were many like having a low harvest time of 60 to 100 days while maintaining a high incentive crop for the cultivating farmers. But in this attempt to extract a suitable fuel, there are disadvantages as well. Facilitating crop production leads to deforestation, increasing the effects of biodiversity & depletion of natural resources. In our country, this crop has been added as a standby crop to balance our food sustainability for the next 10 years. The advantage is that this crop is drought resistant, requires very little water for its growth. So on the one hand when scientists are engaged in supplying high-yield stress-resistant crops farm Industries are converting more and more forest & grasslands to corn production. This sets in motion the vicious cycle of deforestation & biodiversity, change in tropics, subtropics, and the temperate regions of the World which does not suit climate change.

The climate in Bengal does not suit continual corn production as the damp, subtropical & temperate climate with about 6 to 7 months of rain in a year, will perish such crops quickly. However, such exercises are being carried out near the Bengal-Orissa border, U.P targeting the months of April to June without disturbing the cultivation of potatoes, two variants of Rice Paddy & Mustard or seasonal vegetables in the farmer’s cycle.

If this experiment with Corn succeeds then for a rational estimate, about 1.250 kgs of Corn will produce about 0.8 ltr of Ethanol, which requires further blending with an organic anhydride to produce 1 ltr of a fuel, much purer than normal Petrol and somewhat near to high octane fuel like 93 Octane.However while the Octane derivative costs about Rs 100/- per ltr +in the Metro cities, the Ethanol derivative is expected to cost not less than Rs 54/- per ltr, keeping aside provisions for Central & States taxes.

The problem is that our Scientists can produce renewable or alternative Fuel with efficiency, but the decision of taxation rests with the Central & State Govts.

I am sure you may know the highest revenue received by our Govt in terms of Excise Duty only from one single commodity of huge consumption!! The answer can be embarrassing for most people.

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