Brazil selling Ethanol cars in the US soon

Compact cars from brazil that can run on 100% ethanol, e100, may soon be arriving in the U.S.

Automotoveiculos S.A says it is "close to securing medium and long-term project financing" to build 50,000 Obvio compacts every year. Zap, the California company that distributes electric and compact gas automobiles, purchased the autos and reportedly has arranged for a $700 million to finance the idea. Zap says it will have Obvios available by the end of 2007.

People may be a slightly skeptical because normal companies wait until a deal is finished before sending out press releases. Also, in 2005, Anuvu received an $11 million contract from Zap for fuel cells for hydrogen cars, but that order never materialized, and Anuvu is no longer around.

GM Says Hybrids Were Pushed for Public Relations and Politics

With all the problems faced by GM, one would assume they wouldn’t go ahead and shoot themself’s in the foot with this.

Last week, the struggling automotive giant General Motors admitted with a surprisingly candid admission: They apparently created Hybrid vehicles for the sole purpose of improving public relations and perception.

The unusual statement was given by the company’s vice chairman, Bob Lutz. "Hybrids are technologically of doubtful benefit, and expensive, but necessary from a political and public relations point of view," remarked Lutz.

"The reduction in fuel consumption does not pay for the technological content and cost of the vehicle." Nonetheless, the company is attempting to do what it can to help turn the tide in what is undoubtedly viewed as a desperate financial situation.

Lutz’s other comments consisted of…

"Toyota has said, economically, hybrids make no sense. The reduction in fuel [consumption] does not pay for the technological content and cost of the vehicle so therefore economically it remains fairly nonsensical, so that’s the left-brain analytical argument.

The right brain is it’s the popular thing to do, many people believe that if we all drove hybrids the world would suddenly get cooler again and then it’s the patriotic thing to do because if you drive a hybrid you will no longer be funding the Arab terrorists, and so forth.

So, with all those beliefs out there, you have to do a hybrid for public policy reasons."

Lutz believes hybrids are just not cost effective. But then again, GM should consider why they have lost billions of dollars in the past few years.

Ethanol benefits the environment and Nation


Are you already using a domestically produced alternative fuel in your vehicle? If you live in a major U.S. city, you probably are.

In the United States, one out of every eight gallons of gasoline sold contains ethanol. Most of this ethanol is purchased as blends of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, known as gasohol or E10, and is used as an octane enhancer to improve air quality.

If you are driving a flexible fuel vehicle, you have the opportunity to fuel with E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. For more information on E10 and other low-level ethanol blends, read on.

Ethanol is a colorless liquid that is distilled from agricultural crops, usually corn. Most ethanol is produced in the grain-growing states of the midwestern United States. The U.S. Department of Energy is also exploring ways to make ethanol from crop wastes like corn stover and switchgrass.

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 mandated the use of oxygenated gasoline in areas with unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. At the time, the primary oxygenates were ethanol and MTBE. Subsequently, MTBE has been found to contaminate ground water supplies, and the demand for ethanol has increased significantly. The Renewable Fuels Standard, mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, calls for the gradual escalation of biofuels use in the United States. This legislation should stimulate the use of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel from 4 billion gallons in 2006 to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.

Benefits of Ethanol
  • Ethanol is domestically produced and allows us to reduce our use of imported petroleum
  • Ethanol emits less carbon monoxide than gasoline
  • Adding oxygenates like ethanol to gasoline reduces carbon monoxide emissions
  • Ethanol production supports U.S. farmers and creates jobs
Ethanol’s Performance

All auto manufacturers approve the use of low-level ethanol blends. Ethanol blends (10% or less) are successfully used in all types of vehicles and engines that require gasoline. From a consumer perspective, there is no noticeable difference in vehicle performance when low-level ethanol blends are used. Because there is a slight difference in the energy content of ethanol and gasoline, there may be a slight reduction in vehicle fuel economy when using ethanol.

Availability of Ethanol

Fuel ethanol blends are sold in every state, and ethanol blends make up nearly 100% of the gasoline sold in carbon monoxide and ozone nonattainment areas during certain months of the year.

Cost of Ethanol

Although ethanol is more expensive to produce than gasoline, federal tax incentives reduce the price to a competitive level. Ethanol prices tend to vary regionally due to availability and promotional efforts by retailers.