The bigger plan is to convert the whole country’s fleet to renewable energy by 2018. The agreement signed today anticipates that by May 2010 50 ethanol vehicles will be circulating in the city.
The deal is between the city of São Paulo, Unica (a sugar cane industry body), Scania, ethanol supplier Cosan and the operator Viação Metropolitana.
The mayor of São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, did not mention how much the investment will cost, but said financial resources will come from fines applied to vehicles that have failed to pass inspection tests. “It will come from an environmental program and directed to another environmental program”, he said.
According to a Unica spokesperson, ethanol achieves a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel. He said diesel engines will be converted to run on ethanol and additive.
Cosan estimates that the 50 vehicles will consume around 300 thousand liters of ethanol per month on a 95% blend. In November, one liter of ethanol in the São Paulo region has cost on average $1.16.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.