Ethanol fits best for heavy vehicles - Swedish truck maker Scania

07 June 2011 16:31  [Source: ICIS news]

SAO PAULO, Brazil (ICIS)--Swedish truck maker Scania on Tuesday said ethanol was the best alternative to fossil fuels for heavy vehicles because the biofuel can easily replace diesel and significantly cut emissions from trucks and buses.

Bio-ethanol is the most effective way to replace diesel in heavy transport, said Scania’s sustainable systems director Jonas Stromberg during a presentation at the 2011 Ethanol Summit in Sao Paulo.

Stromberg said biofuels can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% in heavy vehicles, compared with fossil fuel.

The executive was critical of other technologies that never materialise, saying he had a “pile” of newspaper articles about breakthroughs that would be commercially available in 10 years but never moved forward.

Scania said electric technology could be a feasible alternative to fossil fuels in light vehicles, but did not seem as efficient to meet the energy demands of trucks and buses

Unlike regular automobiles, heavy transport can run nearly 24 hours a day, he said, indicating that keeping the batteries in those vehicles charged would be a challenge.

Scania built 50 buses that are now being used in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, Stromberg said.

The units were delivered in May, he said, adding that the city was expected to receive 10 more ethanol-powered buses in the short term.

Stromberg said fossil fuels were no longer used in Stockholm’s public transportation system.

Most buses in the Swedish capital were running on ethanol and other units on biogas, he said.

Sao Paulo expects to have all its 15,000 buses running on renewable fuels by 2018, according to sugarcane industry association Unica.

The 2011 Ethanol Summit opened on Monday and will close on Tuesday.

By: William Lemos
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