In an indication that electric vehicles might not be the optimal decarbonisation option for every market, the chairman of Maruti Suzuki recently suggested that India should transition to ethanol or hydrogen cars rather than electric ones. 

R.C. Bhargava, chairman of the Indian subsidiary of Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp and India’s largest passenger car maker, was speaking at an event organised by All India Management Association (AIMA). He was cited by the Times of India as saying that the country perhaps should move to ethanol, hydrogen and fuel cell options because in India 75% of the electricity is produced from coal which translates into a higher carbon footprint of electric cars as. 

Hybrid cars will be cleaner than electric cars until India generates at least 50% of its electricity from renewable energy resources, R.C. Bhargava added. 

Ethanol is currently widely used as fuel in low-level blends, such as E10 and E15, containing up to 10% and 15% ethanol, respectively. The E85 blend, which contains up to 85% ethanol, is used in flex-fuel vehicles or petrol cars with a conversion system. In Europe, the E85 fuel is most widely used in France and Sweden.