Suzuki recently announced that they will launch vehicles in the US and Brazil that will run on 100% Ethanol (E100) by the year 2010. They join other automakers, such as GM, who are already selling flex-fuel vehicles in Brazil. Company officials point to the strong demand for 100% ethanol fueled vehicles due to the wide availability of cheap ethanol in Brazil.
In Brazil, 45% of all fuel used for automobiles is ethanol made from sugar cane. This represents a wide-range of mixes, all the way from a 20% ethanol/80% gas mix (E20) up to 100% ethanol (E100). Brazil has been leading the world in producing ethanol from sugar cane. While the US has focused heavily on corn-based ethanol production, Brazil has used sugar cane in producing their ethanol. Using sugar is about three to four times as efficient as corn.
Currently 20% of all vehicles in Brazil are flex-fuel, yet they are only using 1% of the arable land in Brazil to meet the current ethanol demand. Industry officials feel that they could easily increase production by two to three times the current production levels.
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