The ethanol industry is partnering with the developers of hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell cars to integrate biofuels as an alternative energy source, hoping to cover the plug-in electric vehicles. The chief of Goias state ethanol industry association Sifaeg, Andre Rocha, stated that all the talk about electric vehicles and their advantages is good, but the industry ought to focus on ethanol as the fuel for the future. The Brazilian ethanol developers explained that the plug-in electric vehicles roaming the US and Europe run on fossil fuels like coal, which is where they can slot in biofuels.
A report from Europe indicates that about 92 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer are emitted from an average electric vehicle. Plinio Nastari, the founder of an agricultural evaluation group Datagro, submitted this report stating that this is only accounted for by the vehicles and not the mining, manufacturing, and disposal of the electric vehicle batteries and the establishment of the charging stations sustaining the cars. On the other hand, the advanced fuel combustion cars in Brazil that utilize hydrous ethanol generate 58g per kilometer of carbon dioxide. Nastari added that a blended fuel further reduces the quantity from that released by the electric vehicles.
Toyota is among the companies that have declared support for this quest. The company is developing Corolla Cross models that utilize ethanol in Brazil. This non-plug-in hybrid technology is what the company hopes to capitalize on to develop and expand its plant in Sao Paulo. Averagely, the hybrid engine emits about 29g/km of carbon dioxide, according to Nastari. Brazil’s dealer in energy and logistics, Cosan, which runs the sugar and ethanol milling group Raizen, explained that its operations are similar to what companies like Tesla are doing to minimize carbon gas emissions. The chief executive of Raizen, Ricardo Mussa, added that Tesla has managed to minimize 3.7 million tons of gaseous emissions in the last decade while Raizen has minimized about 5.7 million tons of the same.
The electric vehicle association ABVE stated that purely electric vehicles are not likely to penetrate the Brazilian market because the country’s electricity cost is high. This factor makes the hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles that run on ethanol ideal for the market. The sales of hybrids in Brazil went up last year because people want to move with the trend despite the scarcity of electricity utilities to meet the high power demand for these cars and the battery-electric models.