The Brazilian ethanol industry came out in support of using gasoline blended with ethanol, saying that it was a more environment-friendly solution than battery electric vehicles. One industry analyst said that while European EVs produced 92 g/km of CO2 — because they are largely charged by power that is derived from fossil fuels — flex fuel IC engines produce 58 grams of CO2/km. The figure is claimed to drop to as low as 29 grams in hybrid vehicles.
Brazil is the world’s leading producer of ethanol through its sugarcane output, and the industry wants the country to focus on expanding the sales of hybrids instead of battery EVs. It is also placing its bets on hydrogen fuel cells, as the hydrogen needed for the technology can be produced on-board the vehicles by the ethanol itself, which would obviate the need for hydrogen transportation and storage infrastructure.
Survey reveals 66% of Indians willing to buy EVs
A new survey conducted by car retailing website CarDekho revealed that 66% of Indians are now willing to buy EVs, with 53% of them indicating a strong willingness to do so. The results also showed that 68% of the respondents were concerned about the environmental impact of vehicular emissions. However, 43% were concerned that they would have to frequently recharge their EVs, 20% thought that EVs would not be reliable on long drives and 16% said that the current network of charging stations was inadequate.
EVs’ share in Delhi’s auto sales grows to 2.2%, overall numbers jump three-fold
After the launch of the Delhi EV policy in August 2020 and on the back of the sales of 2,621 EVs in the past three months, the share of EVs in Delhi’s new vehicle sales has grown sharply, from 0.2% to 2.21%. India’s overall EV sales have also tripled in the past three years, going from 69,012 units in 2017-18 to 167,041 units in 2019-20. This was revealed to the Lok Sabha as part of a written reply, and the expansion of subsidies under FAME-II and the reduction in GST on battery packs and charging infrastructure (from 12% and 18% to 5%, respectively) were cited as the key enablers. The best performer in the country was Hero Electric, whose sales jumped 15% over last year to reach 50,000 units in FY21, and it added 1,500 charging stations across the country to support its customers.
New breakthrough in structural batteries promises lighter EVs with better range
A group of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) demonstrated 10 times better structural performance from carbon-fibre based EV batteries, and now the batteries have the potential to be essentially used as structural, load-bearing components of the vehicles. This is in contrast to their traditional use as simply blocks that add to an EV’s dead weight. The research has been ongoing since the 2000s but the new breakthrough promises a stiffness of 25 GPa (gigapascals), which is reportedly at par with other vehicle construction materials. It also offers an energy storage capacity of 24 Wh/kg, which although is very low compared to commercially available li-ion batteries at 100-265 Wh/kg, could be an addition to EVs’ on-board battery capacity and thus augment their driving range.