Brazilian Ethanol Powers Double-Decker London Bus

    Biodiesel Scania bus being used in London

    Biodiesel Scania bus being used in London London Mayor Ken Livingstone is about to start trials of London's first bus fueled by bio-ethanol. The Scania OmniCity double-decker will carry 81 passengers and be powered by ethanol made from Brazilian sugar cane.

    Transport for London Environment (TfL) Coordinator Helen Woolston said on Friday the bus would join a fleet of seven hybrid diesel-electric buses currently running in London, with plans for 50 more hybrids by the end of 2008.

    TfL has just completed trials of hydrogen-powered buses and plans to buy 10 of these in the next year or so, she told the Bioethanol conference in London on Friday.

    The buses are part of the mayor's new goal of cutting London's CO² emissions by 60 percent from 1990 levels by 2025. TfL is also considering basing London congestion charges on vehicles' CO² emissions, with a banding system similar to the government's new road tax system, Woolston said.

    Scania's current ethanol engine generation reaches Euro 4 levels, required from October this year. Around 600 ethanol buses have been delivered so far. Scania is now developing its next-generation ethanol engine, planned to be ready for introduction in late 2007.

    Scania is also supplying the ethanol-powered city buses for use in the BEST Bioethanol for Sustainable Transport) consortium's field trials of ethanol as a vehicle fuel.

    Stagecoach's pilot study vehicle will operate in Liverpool, Barnsley, Sheffield, Newcastle and Manchester.

    Stagecoach recently expanded the use of biodiesel to 1,800 vehicles in the UK in a move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel efficiency. It is now used at 28 depots in Scotland, and the North-east and North-west of England.

    For the past year, Stagecoach has also been using the fuel additive Envirox across its entire UK bus fleet. Tests delivered more than a 5% cut in fuel consumption and an associated decrease in vehicle emissions.

    The greenest, zero-emission vehicles are already exempt from the congestion charge.

    Mercopress

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    • Show Comments (14)

    • hummingbird

      To: JoÀƒ£o da Silva
      Quite so but I do remember swigging back a few glasses of 51 when I lived in Rio 🙂 …then there’s those nice caiparinhas 🙂

      Tchao

    • João da Silva

      To:Hummigbird
      [quote]So i think there’s still room to import more Brasilian cachaca …er sorry …ethanol 😉 [/quote]

      Sugar cane produzes Flexible fuels 😉

    • João da Silva

      To:ConceiÀƒ§Àƒ£o
      [quote]My general point is that, if government is going to honestly encourage ethanol use, it should make it generally
      available to the public at the lowest possible market-determined price. Such an approach, if attempted, should include some pilot project involving the cheapest ethanol available which is of course
      Brasilian. [/quote]

      It is an extremely interesting point you have raised. Though I would add Both our governments! Geoplitically speaking, I still think the accord signed by our governements is more of Strategic nature than Business, at this point of time. Brazil has huge land mass that can produce plenty of sugar cane and ethanol.This program generates jobs for the poor and we also manufacture Flex cars which can be exported to U.S. Now you have alternative fuel and for the time being neutralizes the Chavez/Mullah alliance.In the event there is an eruption of conflict in the Middle East and the Gasoline price goes up in U.S.,the Ethanol becomes cheaper fuel even with the import duty.Of course there is an option of your Government reduze or all together abolish the duty.

      One point interesting to note is that in spite of the Mayor of London being a big fan of Chavez, he opted for Brazilian ethanol to run the Double Decker buses. Is is possible that he does not trust Venezuela as a reliable supplier of Gasoline?

      Using the analogy of Murdock /GE/Dow Jones drama, we should now prepare ourselves for the Big Oil companies vying with each other to get their piece of action in this Ethanol business.As a friend of mine in this forum loves to say, the game is afoot.

    • hummingbird

      To: JoÀƒ£o da Silva
      Sugar in the EU is produced overwhelming from sugar beet …which even grows well in the UK. But we don’t yet produce enough ethanol from it to supply a big increase in public transport usage. So i think there’s still room to import more Brasilian cachaca …er sorry …ethanol 😉

    • conceicao

      The Murdoch bid for Dow Jones is indeed fascinating. The General Electric-owned stock market channel, run in alliance with Dow Jones,saw its profits jump 65% last year and Murdoch wants in on the
      action. The “money honey” female anchors on the stock channel were gleeful as they reported the story today as they know that their salaries are about to go through the roof as Murdoch and GE start bidding
      against each other for on-air talent.

    • conceicao

      Joao, I would join you in your choice of a gasoline-fueled vehicle as likely most consumers would. My general point is that, if government is going to honestly encourage ethanol use, it should make it generally
      available to the public at the lowest possible market-determined price. Such an approach, if attempted, should include some pilot project involving the cheapest ethanol available which is of course
      Brasilian. U.S. corn-based ethanol currently sells at around a 10-cent per gallon premium to the $2 / gallon or so market price of gasoline from a refinery. Given that the U.S. ethanol has only about 75%
      of the energy content of a gallon of gasoline, it is easy to note the profound economic distortion that results from the government mandate that ethanol be mixed into the gasoline for motor fuel. Brasilian ethanol, without the tariff, could probably be landed at the U.S. Gulf Coast refineries at around $1.25 / gallon U.S. and would , on an energy content adjusted basis, actually undercut the U.S. refined gasoline market. ADM, etc, appear to just be profiteering off the distortion without any economic incentive to encourage ethanol use beyond whatever government mandate level that they can achieve and without real attempt to compete in a real consumer-based market. As you may have noted, I am disgusted by this, but would have been just as disgusted to be paying government-inflated prices at the
      Brasilian pump as you have.

    • João da Silva

      To:ConceÀƒ§Àƒ£o
      [quote]Midwest politicians don’t really seem
      interested in any kind of full-scale flex-fuel program anyway[/quote]

      Why should they be.The corn production in the Mid West is subsidized by the government, righ?. If you really want my opinion, I am still wary of this ethanol program.In 1980, I bought a car ran on this fuel and it was very good. But the problem was the cost of production of ethanol is Brazil at that time was more than the price charged at the pump. Ie; the govt subsidized the producers. I continued with ethanol run cars until I had enough, because of the manipulation of prices by the Govt. Now I have a Japanese made car that uses gasoline and gives me a better mileage than the ehanol made ones.Not that I had any complaint about the cars made by Ford do Brasil run on ethanol. What surprises me is that Ford nor Japanese car manufacturers have gone over board about ethanol run vehicles.

      It would be interesting on your part to do aome independent reasearch. Ah, I also came to know that Murdock wants to buy Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal. Quite an interesting development,eh?

    • conceicao

      I think that the sugar beets are grown mainly in Germany and Eastern Europe, but I need a lot more info on this. My source for stating that the E.U. exports sugar is a recent article in the Wall
      Street Journal, but again, I would like to get some details. Interesting to me that New York City, if it tried just following on from the recent energy savings / cost savings / traffic control
      initiatives promoted by Stockholm and London, would be effectively precluded from pursuing some of the measures due to the existence of the 54-cent ethanol tariff. Why not give NYC a waiver and
      see what the city could do? Would actually probably be the best first step toward E85 availability that the U.S. could try as Archer Daniels Midland and the Midwest politicians don’t really seem
      interested in any kind of full-scale flex-fuel program anyway.

    • João da Silva

      To:ConceiÀƒ§Àƒ£o
      Sorry, I forgot that Sugar can be made out of beet too.My Sincere apologies.But still interested in knowing the names of the countries

    • João da Silva

      To:ConceiÀƒ§Àƒ£o
      [quote]BTW, I believe that the E.U. actually exports sugar and could thus make its own sugar-based ethanol in relatively small quantities if it chose to undertake the effort.
      [/quote]

      But there again, my question. For EU to export sugar, they have to produce Sugar Cane. Which countries in EU plant Sugar Cane? Still I think that EU is producing Ethonal out of Wooden Chips. I wouldnt be surprised if some one tells me that Finns are the pioneers in this field too.

    • conceicao

      It is much easier to change over a mega-city bus fleet if you can present a scenario where the upfront costs are offset by cost savings over time. Sure, there is a green element involved in the London
      situation. But it is also important that the city could enter into long-term supply agreements with Brasilian ethanol producers at a price per energy unit below that of competing petroleum products
      (based on the last cost and energy content numbers that I saw published). The cost advantage becomes overwhelming if European petroleum taxes do not apply to the imported ethanol. Plus,
      diversifying sources of energy supply serves as a hedge against a political-related spike in oil prices. Brasil has clear comparative advantage in a situation like this in terms of both cost and reliability
      of cost over time. BTW, I believe that the E.U. actually exports sugar and could thus make its own sugar-based ethanol in relatively small quantities if it chose to undertake the effort.

    • João da Silva

      To:Ch.C
      [quote]Because yesssss, the EU also produces ethanol, but simply not in a sufficient quantity ![/quote]

      Which countries in EU produce ethanol? And out of Corn or other substances,like wooden chips?

    • ch.c.

      Conceicao is right…partially !
      But in 1999, thus years ago, 50 % of Scania Sweden city buses, were already running on ethanol !

      And the same Scania buses are already in many cities in many countries !

      The real question is…..is it only Brazilian ethanol as the article headline suggests…or also ethanol made in the EU ????

      Because yesssss, the EU also produces ethanol, but simply not in a sufficient quantity !
      Meaning that the european countries will first consume their own ethanol, and import the rest !

    • conceicao

      My understanding is that Sweden is probably the leading European country in terms of incorporating Brasilian ethanol into its domestic motor fuel mix. Very interesting if Brasilian ethanol is finding
      new markets like the London bus fleet through the adaptation of technologies developed in Sweden specifically to utilize the imported fuel. Certainly would bode well for the development of an
      international market in exported Brasilian ethanol as envisioned by the Brasilian government. Scania is a Swedish company.

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