November 4, 2007

Government endorses ethanol-fuelled cars

The Malawi government is promoting imported ethanol-fuelled cars to wean the country off its fossil fuel dependency and better harness the country's ethanol industry. Malawi's department of science and technology, in partnership with the privately owned Ethanol Company of Malawi (ETHCO), is promoting the import of Brazilian-made 'flex-fuel' vehicles, propelled by locally manufactured sugarcane ethanol.
The first vehicles were unveiled at a launch event in Blantyre, Malawi in October. The flex-fuel vehicle can use either 100 per cent ethanol fuel, petrol or any mixture of ethanol and petrol in a single tank. They are part of Malawi's ongoing drive to find alternative and cheap sources of fuel to replace imported fossil fuels. According to the ministry of education, science and technology, Malawi imported around 80-90 million litres of petrol each year from 1995 till 2005. During the same period, the cost of petrol increased from $US13 million to $US36.1 million. (SciDev.Net, London)

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