By Mikayla McKenna, RFA Communications Manager
Last week, Kelly Davis, RFA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, and I traveled to New Delhi for the India Auto Expo, which is Asia's largest automotive show and jointly organized by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Other organization participants included U.S. Grains Council, e-Flex Fuel Technology (Finland), ACE Ethanol, Growth Energy, Iowa RFA, and Marquis Energy (Singapore).
In June 2022, 21 Indian states achieved the nation’s target of supplying 10% ethanol blended petroleum. The government of India has since announced advancing their blending target of 20% ethanol in petroleum from 2030 up to 2025. India is among the leading nations to have adopted a large scale of sustainable practices; at COP27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s pledge to attain net-zero emissions by 2070, with ethanol being a key a component in achieving this. The United States and Brazil are also key partners in helping India achieve E20 by 2025.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the nation’s auto manufacturers organization, leads the promotion and eventual implementation of the ethanol blend mandates, as well as transitioning their fleet in the country to flex fuel vehicles. SIAM has partnered with the U.S. Grains Council to facilitate technology transfers and best practices that can help support the implementation of ethanol across the country.
For the first time ever, the Auto Expo featured an Ethanol Pavilion, where the Grains Council booth was located, along with SIAM, the Indian Sugar Mills Association, UNICA Brazil, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Praj Industries and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation. Kelly and I had the privilege of talking with consumers and other visitors at the booth, promoting all things U.S. ethanol and RFA. During our time in India, we had the pleasure of:
- Welcoming Prime Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri to our booth;
- Meeting officials from the U.S. Embassy, such as Gloria Berbena, Minister-Counselor for Public Diplomacy, and Ron Verdonk, Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs;
- Attending the signing of an MOU with SIAM: U.S. and India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership with USDA and other U.S. government officials;
- Kelly presenting on the U.S. ethanol industry experience at the International Conference on Sustainable Mobility at the Auto Show; and
- Joining the Grains Council for the grand opening of its India office.
It was an incredible week promoting U.S. ethanol in India. Kelly and I look forward to seeing the opportunities that will grow from this event and with what is to come for the country and renewable fuels.
We also look forward to continuing the conversation during our 2023 National Ethanol Conference next month, during the “India Goes All in on Ethanol” session. This NEC session will highlight India’s policymakers, auto companies, and fuel providers that have made the bold commitment to rapidly expand the use of low-carbon ethanol. Presenting at this session is Prashant Banerjee, SIAM’s executive director. For more information on the event and to register, click here. Advance registration saves participants $100 and ends on January 28.