Friday, June 12, 2009

Petrobras Opens First Electric Vehicle Recharging Station in Rio

Petrobras inaugurated yesterday the first electric vehicle recharging station in the southern hemisphere. The unit is located in Rio and uses sunlight to generate energy. It has a capacity of up to 100 kilowatts.

Petrobras admits that the initiative has more appeal as an "environmentally conscious" initiative rather than financial. A kilowatt-hour is expensive, costs R$2.60 (USD$ 1.40). If a driver uses the electricity at home, he or she pay six times less: R$0.40 (USD $0.19).

"But when recharging your vehicle at the station, users know that you they are using clean energy, while the energy received at home can come from a thermal power plant, for example."

PBR's focus is the large number of electric bikes in the neighborhood where the recharging station was installed in the Barra da Tijuca sector of Rio. "Here we have the largest concentration of such bikes in the country," says Machado, a Director.

The station also sells gasoline, ethanol and natural gas. In case of little sunlight or demand greater than supply, the station can use the external power network.

A full charge for car or bike takes about four hours. PBR offers an extra battery for the driver to continue using his bike.

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