27/04/2016 7:11 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Mercedes-Benz To Power Vehicles With Bio-Diesel: Gadkari

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The Mercedes-Benz badge is displayed on a GLC300 4Matic sport utility vehicle (SUV) at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. The show opens to the public on April 27. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hit hard by the clamp down on large diesel cars, German luxury car maker Mercedes Benz has offered to power its cars and other vehicles with bio-diesel in India.

"Mercedes has given me a letter that they can use 100 per cent bio-diesel in their cars and trucks...," Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said today.

Gadkari said Mercedes India chief had met him and said that the standards "which we have prescribed for bio-diesel, Mercedes can use that in its cars and other vehicles".

The minister said that major automobile companies like JCB and others too have shown their willingness to use bio-diesel, ethanol and other such products, which would be a major step in minimising high pollution levels.

Automobile giants like Mercedes, Toyota, Mahindra and General Motors have failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court, which extended till April 30 the bar on registration of diesel-run SUVs and high-end cars with engine capacity of 2000 CC and above in the National Capital Region. The bar was put in December and was to continue till March 31.

Gadkari said it would be his ministry's initiative to promote such bio-fuel and it will also be encouraged in use of highways building machinery and equipment.

"We are going to issue the notification in this regard (bio-fuel) also," he said, adding that government has already prescribed bio-fuel blending with normal diesel.

Gadkari said in Nagpur 100 buses will run on cent per cent ethanol and another 100 would run on bio CNG.

He said Haldia port, one of the 12 major ports in the country has set a very good example of how vehicles and railway engines can run on bio-diesel.

"We are in the process of converting Haldia port as the country's first major green port. Railway engines, trucks and other vehicles there are being run on bio-diesel made at the port," he said.

India has already emerged as a key training hub in production processes for workers of German luxury car maker.

Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director & CEO Roland Folger has recently said: "India is a forerunner among Mercedes- Benz's assembly plants globally, and in the past we have already supported the plant in Vietnam in the global network."

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