India they say alcohol is bad for health. In Brazil, they think otherwise, because
alcohol is wisely used to power cars there. Brazil, the host nation for the
2014 FIFA World Cup is soon to become the world's third-largest automotive
market and alcohol is an everyday aspect of driving in Brazil, says a Bosch
in India the number of cars per thousand is around 15, Brazil currently has
some 200 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. Growth in the vehicle market will be
driven by the rise of the country's prosperous middle class. By 2020, the
number of newly registered vehicles could double to over 6.6 million, which
would make Brazil the third-largest sales market behind China and the United
States. Global third place is currently held by Japan.
country boasts the world's second-longest road network. Practically all goods
are transported by truck, while buses are the primary form of transportation
for people. Every day, 900,000 vehicles travel on just two highways alone,
“Bandeirantes” and “Anhanguera,” the two main routes between the metropolises
of São Paulo and Campinas. Some six million light, medium, and heavy trucks
were registered in 2010, as were 676,000 buses. By comparison, the transport
volume by rail or ship is negligible.
Powering cars with alcohol: In 1972,
the Brazilian government launched the “Proalcool” programme to produce biofuel
from sugar cane, in order to reduce the country's dependence on oil imports.
Since then, the registration of diesel vehicles with a load capacity of under
one metric ton has been prohibited, so today's cars all run on gasoline and
ethanol. Bosch developed FlexFuel technology especially for the Brazilian
market to allow vehicles to run on either type of fuel, or any mixture of the
two. Given the huge distances in Brazil, the world's fifth-largest country by
area, diesel-powered cars would make an excellent alternative.
half of the total amount of fuel used on the country's roads is diesel. And in
2013 the market for trucks over six metric tons totaled over 140,000 vehicles –
equal to the volume of the U.S. market. Bosch technology can be found in four
out of five trucks and buses in Brazil. What's more, Bosch is developing
dual-fuel systems in the south of the country that offer a unique solution for
commercial vehicles, allowing their diesel engines to be run even when CNG or
ethanol is added.
combination of gasoline and ethanol was developed by Bosch specifically for the
Brazilian market. The system's distinctive feature is that the exact mixture is
variable. Today, around 90pc of all passenger cars in Brazil are equipped with
this flexible fuel technology. In 2013, the ten-millionth vehicle featuring
this technology was manufactured in Brazil. Other important markets for
FlexFuel vehicles are the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
“The FlexFuel complete system is a flagship
technology from Bosch. Bosch is thus represented in more than 80pc all the
Brazilian cars that use FlexFuel,” Stefan Seiberth, president of the Gasoline
Systems division of Robert Bosch GmbH
the next few years, the market for advanced vehicle technology in Brazil will
continue to grow. A large part of the country's heavy-goods fleet is
obsolescent and can no longer meet the growing needs of Brazil's economy.
What's more, the fact that Brazil is in the process of introducing the Euro 5
emission standard for heavy-goods vehicles presents an additional technological
challenge. Bosch already offers solutions that stay within these limits. Should
the ban on diesel engines for cars be overturned, that market holds the promise
of further growth.
Brazilian government has traditionally banned diesel engines in cars as a way
of avoiding imports of fuel. But these days the country is in a position to be
self-sufficient, and we are assuming that car drivers will soon be allowed to
opt for diesel as well,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, president of the Diesel Systems
division of Robert Bosch GmbH.
Picture courtesy Bosch