Amid India's Auto Expo, the U.S. Grains Council and U.S. industry partners invited attendees to learn about the economic, environmental and health benefits of increased ethanol use.
The show is India's largest auto show, covering an area equal to 15 football fields. It is attended by about 600,000 people.
Jim Zook, executive director of the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, and Greg Krissek, CEO of Kansas Corn, joined with USGC staff and consultants to represent the U.S. farmer and ethanol production perspectives.
“The Council’s participation in the Auto Show was very successful and allowed us to place ethanol at the highest level of importance to both Indian consumers and industry as well as government officials,” said Alejandra Danielson Castillo, USGC regional director for South Asia.
India is the third largest buyer of U.S. ethanol in the 2019/2020 marketing year (September 2019-December 2019) at 48.8 million gallons (17.3 million bushels in corn equivalent). However, those imports were only for industrial uses. As a producer of ethanol, India's national biofuels policy does not allow ethanol imports for fuel use. The council is working with Indian industry to address the economic benefits of having a fuel ethanol industry policy, including the potential for imports to help the country meet its E10 mandate.
The USGC booth worked to dispel some myths about ethanol use, emphasizing how ethanol has cleaner combustion properties, reduces particulate matter emissions, reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions, does not impact food security and provides cost savings.
“I was very impressed with the booth layout, with the traffic that came through and all the questions being asked of the participants,” Zook said. “A very educational booth allowed us to answer a lot of questions for the people attending the show.”
The biggest draw to the booth, however, was a mock U.S. fuel pump that provided a demonstration of the price difference between ethanol and non-ethanol blended gasoline, including significant cost savings for consumers. The Indian Minister of Road Transport and Highway came to the booth to specifically look at the pump and pricing options.
The USGC delegation also met with key stakeholders in India - including government ministers and leaders of auto industry associations – and followed up with contacts from the 2019 Global Ethanol Summit. Krissek also spoke on an alternative fuels panel during the Global Electrification Mobility Summit, which ran concurrently to the expo.
“It’s an exciting time to meet with stakeholders so that when trade opportunities are available, the U.S. ethanol industry will be well-positioned to further develop these partnerships," Krissek said.