Bengaluru's first methanol-run buses will be unveiled by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on March 12.
Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) director (information technology) AV Surya Sen told Moneycontrol that a pilot trial of MD15 (diesel with 15 percent methanol) buses will be launched at 5:30 pm from Vidhana Soudha.
BMTC along with NITI Aayog, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Ashok Leyland is conducting the project, he said. "This will eventually lead to a considerable reduction in emission levels."
BMTC is planning to induct a total of 80 methanol-run buses for the pilot project, according to a senior official. Out of them, 20 Ashok Leyland buses will be inducted in the first phase and will be followed by other bus manufacturers once they enter into an agreement with NITI Aayog. IOC will provide free diesel and methanol for three months for the pilot project.
A prototype of the M100 (100 percent methanol) truck will also be unveiled at the event. Methanol can be produced from natural gas, coal as well as municipal waste and biomass.
"The concept of 'Methanol Economy' is being actively pursued by China, Italy, Sweden, Israel, the US, Australia, Japan and many other European countries. 10 percent of fuel in China in the transport sector is Methanol," reads a NITI Aayog document.
In 2010, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) experimented with mixing 7.7 percent ethanol with diesel. The corporation, however, failed to scale it up.
BMTC, which has over 6,000 buses in its fleet, purchases 2.4 lakh litres of diesel a day.