• Categories
  • Archives

Brazil’s Four-fuel Vehicle Ready for the Road

Brazilian cars may start cruising with an engine powered by four different fuels until the end of this year. The technology was developed by the Brazilian subsidiary of the Italian company Magneti Marelli, in the city of Hortolândia, in the state of São Paulo.

The system allows vehicles to be fueled with alcohol, gasoline, natural gas and naphtha (pure gasoline), used in some countries in South America.


According to Silvério Bonfiglioli, Marelli president in the country, the four-fuel engine is an evolution in the bi-fuel system, which has been on the market for two years and allows users to fuel up their vehicles with alcohol and petrol.


The company was the pioneer in the development of this technology and is responsible for about 60% of the vehicles – also known as flex fuel – that circulate in the Brazilian roads.


The four-fuel technology – in the same way as the bi-fuel system – is part of a program the company has since 1998 to develop a unique vehicle for the whole of the Mercosur, the Common Market of the South, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.


“The aim is that the driver may go from Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego (south of Argentina) without worrying about how to fuel the car. Driving through Brazil, the driver may use alcohol. In Bolivia, gas. In Argentinean territory, naphtha,” states Bonfiglioli.


No buttons


In the four-fuel system, the fuel switch occurs without the driver noticing it. “An electronic central commands the distribution of the four kinds of fuel. And the user doesn’t have to press any buttons or turn a key (as is currently the case in vehicles that go through an engine transformation from gasoline to natural gas). Everything is automatic,” explains Bonfiglioli.


Another of the company’s concerns was to minimize power loss in the car at the moment of switching from liquid to gaseous fuel. According to the executive at Marelli, in the transformed engines, the car loses between 20% and 30% power in this operation. For this reason, the system becomes unpractical for small motors, like the 1.0 liter engines.


In the four-fuel system developed by the company, these power losses were reduced to between 5% and 8%, depending on the model of the car.


“This means more safety for the driver. When overtaking, for example, the vehicle loses a minimum in performance,” explains Bonfiglioli.


Costs


A study prepared by Marelli shows that between 25,000 and 30,000 cars powered by gasoline are adapted every month in Brazil for natural gas.


The conversion charges vary according to the car model and may cost between US$ 910.00 and US$ 1,460.00.


The adaptation is always outsourced. “The manufactured product would cost, in average, 30% less than the transformation,” states Bonfiglioli.


The manufacture of four-fuel engine cars should take place yet in the first half of this year. Marelli has already negotiated the sales of the system to a great carmaker in Brazil. The name of the company, however, is kept secret.


Outside Brazil, the company is talking to Arab nations, mainly to Saudi Arabia. There are also contacts with Iran and China. “In the Middle East there is gas abundantly and they are interested in our technology. They are potential buyers, but there is nothing settled yet,” stated Bonfiglioli.


In China, the negotiations are more advanced. Brazilian technicians have already been to the country to advise the Marelli subsidiary in the development of bi-fuel technology.


China is currently the fastest growing automobile market in the world. Over there, alcohol is produced from rice and mixed with gasoline. In some regions, the percentage of alcohol in the fuel is of 30%, but the Chinese aim to increase this quantity.


To develop the four-fuel system, the Marelli factory in Hortolândia received investments of US$ 40 million in the last ten years. The value was invested in the purchase of equipment and hiring capacitated personnel. Currently, 90 development engineers work in the company that occupies about 3,000 square meters.


Translated by Silvia Lindsey


ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency
www.anba.com.br

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Gets Ready to Host World Cup Promoting Country in US and EU

Brazil's Ministry of Tourism has recently launched the campaign "Sensational Brazil" to show the ...

Suppose Lula Is Impeached. It Won’t Be a Nice Picture in Brazil.

What everybody in Brazil is talking about, this week, is not  the explanation given ...

Brazil Ready to Sell Venezuela Electricity But Needs Link to Country’s Grid

Energy sector authorities from Brazil were in Venezuela recently observing that country’s problems with ...

Brazil Threatens to Use Arbitration Court After New Bolivian Surprise

State-controlled Brazilian oil company Petrobras has released an official note criticizing the Bolivian government ...

Brazilian Central Bank’s Survey Offers Hint of Falling Interest Rates

Recent reductions in the annualized benchmark interest rate (Selic) have made Brazilian market analysts ...

Lack of Education Brought Brazil a Communist President

Back to the English language issue. I feel deep sorrow for the monoglot. When ...

Lula Asks Bolivia: If Not Brazil Who’s Going to Buy Your Gas?

In yet another chapter of the natural gas struggle, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula ...

Egypt Discovers Brazil as Good for Business

Brazil’s exports to Egypt increased almost 35% last year and, if it depends on ...

Brazil Signs Agreement with UN to Take Care of Its 7,000 Refugees

The Brazilian Federal Prosecution Service (MPF, in the Portuguese acronym) and the United Nations ...

After a Month of Rains Brazil’s Amazon Residents Are Isolated, in Need of Medicine

Brazil’s Ministry of Health sent seven tons of medicine to the state of Roraima ...