I'll admit that I was mildly surprised to read that Toyota was going to start offering flexible fuel vehicles for sale in Brazil soon. Well, let me clarify that: I was surprised to hear the Toyota was not already offering flexible fuel vehicles for sale in Brazil. There, that's better. As the article mentions, ethanol is much cheaper in Brazil than petroleum, and most consumers would not want to purchase a car that they would be forced to use gasoline in. As you are probably aware, Brazil has been pushing forward for a while now to do away with gasoline in general, replacing it with ethanol derived from locally grown sugar cane. Most vehicle manufacturers have been selling vehicles which are capable of running on the alcohol fuel, again as the article mentions, including Honda - arguably Toyota's chief rival from Japan. With 80 percent of all vehicles sold in Brazil flex-fuel compatible, this news should not be surprising to anyone, unless, like me, they assumed that Toyota had already been offering them!

Note the flag above. It says "Order and Progress" (translated into English). Any thoughts on whether the conversion to ethanol from petroleum is progress? I'll say "Yes", but qualify that by saying that it could progress even further if they were able to use a cellulosic process to get the alcohol. At least they're not using corn!

[Source: Detroit News]


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