If you are wondering what the title means Alcool is alcohol(ethanol) and gasolina is petrol!
While the rest of the world is buckling down by gas prices, Brazilians are least bothered.
They can fill their tanks up with ethanol or petrol or a combination of the two and with the convenience of filling either
one at a regular gas station. Ethanol prices are upto 55% cheaper than petrol.
Folks this is not a single group effort , it must be a Statewide effort. If you are interested
in doing a part but dont have free time, consider backing a cooperative and share the results.
Brazilians use what is called the "flex fuel cars" with can run on ethanol or petrol.
Unlike hybrids sold in the US, for example, flex cars sold in Brazil don't cost any more than traditional models. In fact,
some models are only available with flex engines now. Ethanol engines use 25 percent more ethanol per mile than gasoline.
But ethanol (the alcohol produced by fermenting sugar) usually sells at somewhere between a third to half of the price of
gas. Even people who were reluctant to take
the plunge and buy a flex say they have been won over by the savings!
Prompted by oil shocks
in 1970s, used laws and subsidies to promote ethanol only cars which had 90% of the market by late 1980s. But supply of sugar
based fuel dried up suddenly when planters rushed to meet a surge in demand for sugar. Sales of ethanol powered cars dropped
to zero by 1990.
With the emergence of "flex fuel" cars Brazilians are giving
their ethanol driven cars a second chance. Volkswagen was the first to market a flex fuel model followed by other big manufacturers.
And apparently Brazil is the largest manufacturer
of spare parts
for these cars. Even if these cars gained popularity outside Brazil, they may still be the leaders in manufacturing parts.
Brazil may benefit more by selling the fuel (ethanol) than anything else since cost of producing ethanol can compete with
petrol even with oil prices at $35 a barrel which is half of today's price.
In America about 4-5m vehicles can run
on blends of upto 85% ethanol, but there are 14 states with no ethanol pumps in the entire state. There is also a restriction on sugar imports in the US
which increased the sugar price with subsidies to produce ethanol since costly protected domestic sugar is too expensive to
compete. I can't make any sense out of this. Moreover with sugarcane not being a major crop, the US might have to buy ethanol
from countries like Brazil, that is if a "flex fuel" car drive comes into place. Until then cough up your dollar to pay for