Brazil Close to 1 Million Cars Converted to Use Gas

    The Brazilian Petroleum and Gas Institute (IBP) maintains its forecast that, by the end of the year, 1 million cars will have been converted to use compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel, despite the slower pace of conversions observed in May.

    After a succession of record-breaking months during which the conversion rate averaged 20 thousand per month, the number of light vehicles converted to CNG use in May (16,236) retreated to the levels that prevailed up to last December.


    These data, released, Tuesday, June 21, by the IBP, show that May’s results raised the national total of CNG-fueled vehicles to 936,338.


    The coordinator of the Institute’s Gas Committee, Rosalino Fernandes, says that this result surpassed expectations, considering the impact of the crisis in Bolivia and the output of alcohol, which caused alcohol prices to drop below gas prices in some regions.


    In São Paulo, for example, a liter of alcohol costs US$ 0.37 (88 centavos), while a cubic meter of gas costs US$ 0.46 (1.10 real).


    The Institute predicts that, even with these factors, the total of cars converted to CNG use in Brazil will reach 1 million before the end of the year.


    According to Fernandes, this mark, based on a study done by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation’s Brazilian Institute of Economics (Ibre) in 2000, should be met between October and November.


    The IBP also estimates that the monthly average of vehicle conversions to CNG use will return to 20 thousand between August and September.


    According to Fernandes, one of the advantages of CNG use is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


    Moreover, CNG, which is normally cheaper than gasoline or alcohol, is a more efficient fuel: On a cubic meter of gas, a car runs between 12 and 13 kilometers, while on a liter of alcohol, it goes only 7, according to the IBP.


    The IBP is a private organization formed by various public and private enterprises in the sector, including Petrobras.


    ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br

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