|The Obvio! 828.|
Obvio! Automotoveiculos S.A., the Brazilian automaker that builds microsports cars that run on gasoline, natural gas, or ethanol, or any combination of the three, in addition to offering an electric model (earlier post), will contribute a portion of each car’s purchase price to a fund to offset its carbon footprint.
Obvio! is working with CantorCO2e to establish the carbon fund. With CantorCO2e’s counsel, Obvio! will also tailor its manufacturing operation to reduce carbon and other pollutants through waste recycling, water conservation, and renewable energy to power the company’s manufacturing plant.
Obvio! has committed that the fund will contribute to environmentally sustainable projects designed to offset carbon emissions associated with the company, whether in communities near the factory, along distribution and supply routes, or after the car is on the road.
As the cars roll out in the United States in 2008, people in the US will realize not only that Brazilians make first-class cars, but we create new products that are friendly to the environment and fun to drive. We’re very excited to work with CantorCO2e on this endeavor.—Ricardo Machado, CEO of Obvio!
Obvio! builds cars only for pre-paid long-term contracts through exclusive country distributors. Fifty thousand vehicles have been ordered for shipment to the US starting in 2008 for exclusive distribution through ZAP, and Obvio! is completing arrangements for 70,000 units for Europe and 30,000 for Japan.
Obvio! selected the UK’s Lotus Engineering to develop its two “trybrid” high-performance microsports cars for markets across the globe, in a deal potentially worth more than £70 million (US$137 million). The full engineering program will include the development of an advanced vehicle safety structure, the integration of multi-fuel engines that will run on gasoline, bioethanol (in blends up to E100 but optimized for E85) or natural gas, and other future powertrain variants. (Earlier post.)
Obvio! converted the 1.6-liter gasoline Tritec engine (used in the BMW Mini and PT Cruiser) for trybrid fuel (ethanol, natural gas, and gasoline) and tweaked it for higher ethanol performance. A 200 hp electric plug-in version goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in five seconds, with a range of 250 miles before recharging.
The engined cars feature a ZF/Punch CVT, providing 10% improvement in fuel efficiency and 10% faster response than a conventional automatic transmission.
CantorCO2e was formed in March 2007 by the combination of CO2e, a climate change specialist, and Cantor Environmental Brokerage, one of the longest-serving emissions brokerages in the world.