Thanks to Keith’s ‘Temas’ blog for this news.
‘Imagine most of the farms across the four nations of MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay) generating much or all of their daily electricity needs through biogas (primarily methane) siphoned off from biodigestors processing their own farm wastes.
Now imagine much of their passenger transport coming from electric vehicles charged quickly from those biogas-fueled generators — cars constructed at a plant in Foz de Iguaçu, the area where Brazilian, Argentine and Paraguayan territories come together, utilizing mostly MERCOSUR-sourced parts and technology.
That is the vision being nurtured by FIAT and Itaipu Binacional (IB) — the bi-national (Brazil, Paraguay) firm that built and runs the huge Itapu Dam that provides power to much of southern Brazil — with technical help from Swiss power producer KWO.
Fiat already have a prototype of such an electric car (see photos) prepared based on the FIAT Palio model, which they have taken around to several fairs, expo’s and other events involving rural producers.
The FIAT interest in this vision is obvious: they want to be the car maker that sets up that factory, taps the MERCOSUR market and perhaps someday build on it all to sell the resulting electric cars outside of MERCOSUR.
The current prototype car only goes up to 130 kilometers per hour, can only go 140 kilometers on a charge and charging takes eight hours. FIAT and BI hope in five years they’ll be able to offer a better version that goes up to 150 km/h, covers 450 km per charge, and only requires 20 minutes to charge.’
Wouldn’t mind one of these little electric car classics. It’s called a Tama and was built by Nissan after WWII, when oil was scarce.