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Toyota Introduces Flex-fuel Corollas in Brazil

With car manufacturers looking for ways to help the environment, new clean car technologies have been developed. These technologies are used by the roving green cars of today. There are various technologies from which to choose from. Car manufacturers have already come up with the gas-electric hybrid, flex fuel vehicles, and those clean diesel vehicles.

The popularity of these types of clean technologies varies from region to region. In the United States, hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius are the most popular of all clean car technologies. In Europe, on the other hand, diesel engines designed to be clean, fuel efficient and of high performance are popular. In Brazil, it is flex-fuel vehicles which are popular due to the abundance of bio-ethanol in the said country. This is the reason why Toyota will be marketing two Corolla variants at the said country - both of which are designed to run on both bio-ethanol and conventional gasoline.

The Japanese company's Brazilian subsidiary reported that the two Corolla variants will outperform the existing gasoline engine powered Toyota Corolla. The first of the two Corollas is the Corolla Flex which the company hopes to have an initial monthly sale of 2,500 units. The second Corolla model is the Corolla Fielder Flex. For the Fielder Flex, Toyota aims for an initial monthly sale of 750 units. These vehicles are equipped with an engine similar in principle and construction to that of a gasoline engine.

The only difference is that several parts of the engines which run on ethanol need to be fortified still. This is because ethanol is more corrosive than gasoline and to combat this corrosive nature of the alternative fuel, different parts such as fuel lines, valves, cylinder walls, and other parts which comes in contact with the fuel and its emission needs to be reinforced. Other parts such as Airaid cold air intake systems are not affected directly by the corrosive nature of the fuel.

The two Corolla variants according to the company are the first for-market vehicles that can run on pure ethanol that Toyota produces. While there are already many flex-fuel vehicles in the market, the majority of them are not designed to run on pure ethanol. Most of them are configured to run on E10 or E85. The number (10 and 85) pertains to the percentage of bio-ethanol on the fuel. For example, an E85 fuel is 85 percent bio-ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

One problem though with using pure ethanol as fuel is that a car will be hard to start during the cold weather. To solve this problem some car manufacturers includes a small gasoline reservoir in the car so that gasoline can be sued to start the engine. After the engine is started, it automatically shifts to bio-ethanol. The use of bio-ethanol reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emission which contributes heavily to global warming.

The popularity of ethanol as fuel in Brazil is due to the fact that it is currently largest importer of ethanol in the world. The abundance of sugarcane in the country means that it is suited to producing the alternative fuel. For the past couple of yeas, car companies have been taking advantage of this abundance of ethanol by introducing flex-fuel vehicles in the Brazilian auto market. Given the fact that ethanol is cheaper than gasoline in the country, Brazilian car buyers are quick to shift from pure gasoline cars to flex-fuel cars. Flex-fuel vehicles are so popular in fact that it is reported that eight out of ten new cars sold in the country are flex-fuel vehicles.

With the introduction of the Toyota Corollas to the market, and the fact that the new vehicles are said to be better than the gasoline Corolla, the number of flex-fuel cars on Brazil's roads will surely increase in the near future.

About The Author Given her background on cars as an auto insurance director, Lauren Woods finds the world of cars to be constantly changing.
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