At Launch of India’s First Ethanol Powered Motorcycle, Gadkari Pushes For Establishing Ethanol PumpsMinister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari. (Ramesh Pathania/Mint via GettyImages)

At the launch of India's first ethanol powered motorcycle Apache RTR 200 built by Chennai-based TVS Motors, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that he would soon write a note to the Petroleum Ministry to allow opening of ethanol pumps in the country, reports The Hindu.

Expressing satisfaction with TVS's launch of an ethanol-powered two wheeler, Gadkari also asked the company to work on bringing out an ethanol powered three-wheeler. He added that the government would encourage the usage of such vehicles to reduce the pollution.

“Oil imports cost India Rs 7 lakh crore every year, at the same time there is pollution also. But biofuels like ethanol and butanol can be extracted from sugarcane and used in vehicles and aircraft. Sugar is surplus right now and everywhere we have a lot of sugar refineries, which can alternatively be used for making biofuels which are not only economical and efficient, but also pollution- free,” Gadkari asserted.

Ethanol is domestically produced from renewable plant sources. It is non-toxic, biodegradable, as well as safe to handle, store and transport, unlike diesel and petrol. It is known to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter.

It should be noted though that there are no ethanol fuel stations in India as of present day.

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