The future of dual-fuel in Brazil
Some people asked me about the dual-fuel cars on Brazil (commonly known as flexfuel, or simply flex). Instead of replying for each one individually, I think it’s better a public post. Well, you can google for more information, or read something on Wikipedia but I can say right away that there are some statistics that in 2005 70% of the new cars sold were dual-fuel. There is a projection that in 2008 they will reach 100% of the market.
Everything started 30 years ago, when Brazil’s government decided that using alcohol from sugar cane was the best choice to have some sor of independency on the external petroleum market. Well, interestling it turns out that in this very same period there were massive investments on petroleum research, and now Petrobras (a government company) produces 90% of the petroleum sold inside Brazil, and it can even export for many other countries (some would remember that Williams F1 cars use Petrobras’ gas).
Now Brazil produces 400 millions of liters of alcohol, and holds the 3rd world’s largest destilary (held by Grupo Carlos Lyra, where I work ;)), that is planing to rech numer one in world’s acohol production on first half of 2006, with an estimated production of 130 millions of liters per year by itself (a US$50 million investment), raising from the current production of 63 millions to 209 liters per year.
Now, answering the question “could it be the end of fossil fuel dependency?”, I think I can say that at least in Brazil there is a great chance of that happening in less than 10 years. But that’s just my personal speculation. 🙂