Something that I´ve noticed while in Brazil is the interesting products sold at gas stations. Anyone surprised? :)
Mainly, they´re the same as in Canada, they sell smokes, chips, drinks, chocolate bars, etc., and of course, gas. But one thing that almost every station sells is alcohol. Of the drinking variety sure, but also of the kind that you put in your fuel tank! It´s a product called E85, which means it´s 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, and it´s actually cheaper than regular gas. Most of the new cars sold here are equipped with a flex-fuel system, which means they can run on either product, so drivers can opt for the cheaper product. There are even some totalflex cars that can also run on natural gas, but can switch to gasoline or E85 when required!
It´s a little unusual for a country like Brazil to be an environmental leader of the world, but it certainly is! But soon, North America will follow its lead: GM will be producing 400,000 cars a year starting this year which are flex fuel, and in fact, certain models starting from 2000 are already compatible. Because E85 behaves very similarly to gasoline, it will quickly become available at gas stations everywhere, because the oil companies won´t have to change any pump systems, they´ll just switch a tank from gasoline to E85, and voila! Instant supply. Ethanol plants are also springing up in Canada, by year´s end Husky Oil will be producing over 250,000 million litres of the stuff, with plans for incremental production over the next several years.
I wonder who will still attend the Critical Mass rallies....