Indian Oil Corporation, in association with Tata Motors, has begun trial of the country's first biodiesel-run cars.
Two Tata Indica cars are being run on diesel doped with 5-10 per cent non-edible oil with an aim to start commercial operation of running automobiles on environmentally friendly bio-diesel in 203 years, IOC director (research and development) N R Raje told a news conference in New Delhi.
India already has vehicles in some states running on petrol doped with small percentage of ethanol extracted from sugarcane, to cut its dependence on imported crude oil.
"Currently in the cost of producing bio-diesel, availability of non-edible oilseeds is an issue. Presently, bio-diesel costs Rs 40-45 per litre (as against diesel price of less than Rs 25 a litre) but ultimately it will cost Rs 20 per litre," he said.
IOC entered into an MoU with Indian Railways for trial of bio-diesel in rail engines. Railways has given 100 out of the promised 500 hectares of its land for cultivation of non-edible oil seeds, the oil extracted from which would be used for doping with diesel.
"We have successful runs of Shatabdi Express between Delhi and Amritsar and JanShatabdi between Kanpur and Allahabad," he said adding 20 buses of Haryana Roadways were also being run on trial basis on bio-diesel.
"Ultimately this number will go up to 150," he said. Raje said IOC would begin experimenting mixing hydrogen in CNG from early 2005.