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Electric or alcohol car?

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Consultant energy affairs, Self employed

Rafael Herzberg- is an independent energy consultant, self-employed (since 2018) based in São Paulo, Brazil* Focus on C level, VPs and upper managers associated to energy related info, analysis...

  • Member since 2003
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  • Mar 8, 2023

Electric or alcohol car?

Evaluating the best alternative - from an environmental point of view - is a must for anyone who wants to make good choices.

There are two main parameters that are at stake. The emissions generated to produce the car and those when using the car.

For now the emissions to produce the car show that the electric generates more. Mainly because of the batteries. its use, the electric is way better!

Thus, what is observed, in general, is that there is a "balance point" for each model. If the car is not used "intensively" alcohol is better. If "it is the electric wins!

For those who want to decide objectively, it will be interesting and convenient to find out whether the anticipated mileage per year justifies the electric one or not.

Julian Silk's picture
Julian Silk on Mar 8, 2023

With Brazil, a full analysis will have to take into account how the electricity is generated.  If the alcohol is just used as it is, as ethanol, probably it will generate more because of the high percentage of hydroelectricity.  But this is just a glimpse, and it could be wrong.

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Mar 9, 2023

Hi Julian!

Thanks for sharing your above mentioned comment!

Ethanol is widely produced in Brazil given the sugar and alcohol super widespread business including all the "supply chain" from huge farms to mils that transform the sugar cane into sugar and alcohol.

So for a few decades ethanol has been available for cars (which are "flex" = gasoline and/or ethanol).

My post is basically for stimulating a discussion about what's best assuming the country's capabilities that already exist!

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Thank Rafael for the Post!
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