Brazil should carefully consider the benefits of adopting the “green” mobility in large scale, especially large cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte. Not only for economic reasons, but as a matter of health, especially for those living in large urban centers.
According to a study done by the University of São Paulo (USP), released on 10/01/2012, pollution kills more than AIDS and tuberculosis in the city of São Paulo. The study points out that “the state capital has 28 micrograms of pollutants caused by burning fossil fuels per cubic meter, when the limit considered tolerable by the World Health Organization – WHO – is 10 micrograms.”
The USP’s study concludes revealing that “if the capital had reduced the levels of air pollution by 10% between 2000 and 2020, 114,000 paulistanos in the period would not have died.” In this context, according to the recent WHO’s research, Air pollution caused 3.2 million deaths of people in the world in 2010. It was a leap of 300% compared to 2000, when the number of deaths was 800,000. The WHO estimates that only Air pollution causes 20,000 deaths per year in Brazil, about five times higher than the estimated number of deaths from passive smoking.
In addition, Brazil should not allow the country to pay the high cost of a technology gap, as occurred until the early 1990s, when Fernando Collor de Mello, who was the president then, revealed to the world that Brazilian cars looked like carts. From this period on, the Brazilian automotive industry had a considerable increase in sales. It went up from 712,741 sales in 1990 to 3,8 million in 2012.
Naturally, with the tremendous growth of the automobile market, Brazil has had an enormous gain with revenue and new jobs generation. Therefore, if the country does not want to bear a technological gap in the sector, It must act now. And if any doubt remains that the time to act is now, just check the numbers of hybrid and electric vehicles global sales to realize how representative they are.
Incidentally, only Toyota has sold more than 5 million hybrids globally. In this context, although cramped, Brazil has just taken the first step to encourage the “green” mobility. On Monday (May 20) the government altered the content of Inovar-Auto (Brazilian automotive regime launched to promote competitiveness through encouraging technological innovation and Densification Productive Chain of national automotive industry) and require by 2017 a rate of 12% energy efficiency for vehicles of domestic manufacture.
The decision was important, but it is insufficient to encourage “green” mobility in the country. The most important step has not been taken yet and it is to reduce the tax burden that currently charges a maximum rate of 55% of Excise Tax and 35% of Import Tax. Added to other charges, the cost of an electric car is up to 5 times higher in Brazil.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the only electric car sold in Brazil, costs R$200,000 in São Paulo (about US$100,000) and in California costs around R$46,600 (about US$ 23,300 already net of government incentives). As can be seen, there are many good reasons for Brazil to adopt, as soon as possible, the “green” mass mobility, with the electric vehicle and hybrid being the “locomotives” of the movement.