Maruti Suzuki, known locally as simply Suzuki, is reportedly pursuing the development of flexible-fuel vehicles that can run on ethanol as well as gasoline. That's according to a report from Autocar India, which was recently able to interview the Japanese automaker.
Suzuki currently sells vehicles like the Ertiga, S-Presso, and Jimny in the Philippines. Soon, we could see flexible-fuel versions of these cars. Earlier this week, managing director and CEO of Maruti Suzuki India, Kenichi Ayukawa, spoke with investors on an earnings call.
The development comes as the Indian government urges automakers to explore the development of alternative and cost-effective fuel solutions. The request was made by no less than Nitin Gadkari, who is the Minister for Road Transport and Highways in India. The minister has told car manufacturers of his desire to see vehicles that can run on 100% ethanol or gasoline within a year.
Flexible-fuel engines, also known as flex-fuel engines, are a type of internal combustion engine that can run on more than one fuel source. The design of these power plants enables vehicles to take a blend of fuels in the same gas tank.
Flex-fuel engines would be a boon in the local market, as methanol is considerably cheaper than gasoline. Having the ability to mix and match between fuel sources can help car owners cut fuel spending. This option would be especially crucial today, as oil prices have skyrocketed in the past several months, and consumers have felt the brunt of it.
As development on these engines is still in the early stages, it may be a while before Suzuki introduces a flex-fuel vehicle to the market. Once it does hit showroom floors, we think these cars could sell well in developing countries like the Philippines.