MBCB | Mobilidade de Baixo Carbono para o Brasil


5 de June de 2024
Low-Carbon Mobility Cooperation Agreement for Brazil (MBCB) releases groundbreaking study showcasing the country’s potential as a leader in the energy transition in transportation
  • A coalition of bioenergy producers, auto parts manufacturers, vehicle manufacturers, aftermarket companies, labor unions, and technology and engineering entities working towards the decarbonization of light and heavy vehicles, as well as agricultural machinery.
  • Participants in the MBCB Cooperation Agreement share the common goal of strengthening industry, economy, job and income generation, and promoting neo-industrialization through all technological routes of mobility in Brazil, supporting and encouraging the use of biofuels and bioelectrification with sustainable and renewable resources.
  • MBCB commissioned a groundbreaking study conducted by LCA Consultores and MTempo Capital, which indicates that there is no single solution to reduce vehicle carbon emissions. The study suggests that a scenario combining biofuels with electric (hybrid) vehicles tends to have positive effects on the economy: an accumulated difference of R$2.8 trillion in GDP and 1.6 million in job creation compared to the scenario favoring 100% electric vehicles.

Brazil takes a significant step towards sustainable mobility with the formation of the Low-Carbon Mobility Cooperation Agreement for Brazil (MBCB). The initiative aims to drive the clean, economically viable, and socially responsible energy transition of Brazil’s transportation sector, respecting technological neutrality and fostering neo-industrialization.

MBCB is a joint effort that brings together the country’s leading automakers, bioenergy and biogas sector companies, auto parts industries, aftermarket, technology and engineering associations, and labor unions. The group’s objective is to raise awareness and support the development of public policies that promote the reduction of carbon emissions from light and heavy vehicles – passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, buses, trucks, and agricultural machinery – and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. “MBCB has a significant merit in bringing together various actors from the mobility chain in favor of decarbonizing transportation with a clear focus on promoting all available technologies,” says Priscilla Cortezze, CMO of MBCB.

To deepen discussions on the topic, MBCB commissioned a groundbreaking study by LCA Consultores and MTempo Capital titled “The Most Efficient Technological Pathways to Mobility De-Carbonization,” which highlights Brazil’s potential to become a leader in the transition to a lower carbon emission transport sector by encouraging the use of available clean solutions and considering emerging renewable technologies, while also clarifying the socio-economic impact of the energy transition.

Technological Pathways

The study began with three different scenarios for the electrification of Brazil’s vehicle fleet: the status quo (control scenario), where there are no structural changes in the current car configuration, and two other scenarios where there is a convergence towards the global electrification standard, one emphasizing hybrid vehicles (HEV) and the other with the prevalence of pure electric vehicles (BEV). From these premises, hypotheses were established that allowed projecting the fleet composition in the reference years and providing a basis for understanding the possible pathways for fleet electrification and their results in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the associated impacts on industry, the economy, jobs, and income generation.

Thus, comparing the evolution of the automotive scenario up to 2050 revealed surprising findings. Analyzing the global convergence towards hybrid and electric vehicles, the results show that hybrid vehicles emerge as leaders in terms of positive economic impact. The scenarios indicate that hybrid vehicles (HEV) not only outperform electric ones (BEV) in terms of production, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), jobs, and taxes generated, predicting a significant increase of 1,062,947 workers in the transportation sector and a projected increase in GDP of R$877 billion compared to the control scenario (Status Quo).

“The study’s results indicate that the scenario with a predominance of hybrid vehicles, in addition to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, tends to boost the Brazilian economy and promote job creation more dynamically compared to the other scenarios, as it preserves the links in the production chain and adds new technologies. The study does not intend to indicate ‘winning’ routes, respecting company strategies and consumer preferences, and aims for all mobility decarbonization alternatives to be competitive and able to reconcile environmental, social, and economic sustainability,” notes Luciano Coutinho, partner at MTempo Capital.

The analyses suggest that if 100% electric vehicles prevail, there could be considerable losses for the Brazilian economy, as these vehicles require a smaller volume of parts and components to be produced. On the other hand, these cars will depend on the importation of strategic components for batteries (lithium-based cells and other minerals), whose production is highly concentrated in a few countries, in large-scale industrial plants strongly supported by their respective local governments.

“There are no clear signs that Brazil could receive investments for local battery cell production, the ‘heart’ of electric vehicles and the component with the highest added value; the lack of scale and absence of incentives, compared to what exists in various developed countries, are factors that deter such investments in the short and medium term. The difficulty in defining which technological route will prove most competitive for batteries, in a time of major disruptive innovations, also hampers investment decisions outside the major global centers of research, development, and innovation,” emphasizes Fernando Camargo, managing partner at LCA Consultores.

A comparative analysis of emissions from light and heavy vehicles reveals significant differences. While light vehicles, accounting for about 94% of the national fleet, already incorporate low-carbon technologies such as ethanol use, decarbonizing heavy vehicles becomes an urgent priority. Although they represent about 6% of the fleet, heavy vehicles are responsible for approximately 57% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In this regard, it is necessary to encourage and accelerate the introduction of alternative technologies – such as battery-electric vehicles for light/medium trucks that travel short distances and engines powered by low-emission biodiesel, gas, or hydrogen for heavier trucks. Given this scenario, public policies aimed at fleet renewal and promoting cleaner technologies are essential to mitigate the environmental impacts of the transport sector.

“This is a crucial step towards sustainable and innovative mobility for Brazil. We are committed to driving the transition to low-carbon technologies, protecting the environment, and fostering employment and income,” highlights Aroaldo Oliveira da Silva, President of IndustriALL-Brazil and member of the MBCB Council.

Decarbonization Metric: Life Cycle

The debate around decarbonizing transport in Brazil involves a complex discussion about the stages of the vehicle life cycle considered in calculating carbon emissions. The methodology currently adopted in Brazil, known as ‘well-to-wheel,’ considers CO2 emissions in fuel production and vehicle use on the streets. International specialized literature recommends measuring emissions over the complete vehicle life cycle, including all stages of production and its parts and components, including the extraction and processing of minerals; fuel production, and proper vehicle and battery disposal, resulting in a measure called ‘cradle-to-grave.’ The study incorporates, in its simulations, emissions measurements based on both ‘well-to-wheel’ and ‘cradle-to-grave,’ including production stages as shown in the figure below.

From this broader perspective, hybrid vehicles emerge as an environmentally favorable solution, especially if fueled exclusively with ethanol. Moreover, one of the study’s simulations shows that progressively increasing the use of biofuels instead of fossil fuels by about 26 percentage points (from about 38% to 64% between 2030 and 2050) could equate the global-hybrid scenario emissions to those of the 100% electric scenario, even considering the current, more restricted ‘well-to-wheel’ measurement. These results indicate the decarbonization potential of biofuels, solutions already available in the country, in a faster and more cost-effective manner, as this would occur even without significant changes in the current vehicle fleet composition – whose renewal takes a long time, even in countries like Brazil with low purchasing power among a significant portion of the motorized population.

Neo-Industrialization and Job and Income Generation

Despite the challenges, Brazil has extraordinary competitive advantages for transportation decarbonization, given that its energy and electricity matrices are clean and composed of renewable energy. Moreover, the country has been developing effective vehicle decarbonization alternatives through biofuels, especially ethanol, for decades. “Brazil is positioned to lead global decarbonization, something that has been happening since the 1970s with the creation of the Proálcool (National Alcohol Program). To continue on this path, it’s enough to combine efforts and investments in technology, local production, and people’s training, ensuring jobs and generating income,” says Evandro Gussi, CEO and President of UNICA and member of the MBCB Council.

By combining knowledge in biofuels with advances in electrification and hydrogen use, Brazil stands out as a global hub for developing low-carbon technologies. “The country is today one of the leading global players in sustainable mobility, due to the use of biofuels like ethanol, biodiesel, and biomethane. Combining biofuels with electrification enhances decarbonization results and serves as a reference for other countries seeking low-carbon solutions,” observes Roberto Braun, Director of Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Toyota and member of the MBCB Council.

The MBCB Cooperation Agreement currently brings together more than 25 institutions and companies: ABiogás – Brazilian Biogas Association, Abipeças, AEA – Brazilian Association of Automotive Engineering, Alcopar, Bioind MT, Biosul, Bosch, Bruning Tecnometal, BYD, Conarem – National Council of Engine Rebuilders, Copersucar S.A., Cummins Inc., IndustriALL Brazil, John Deere, MAHLE, MWM Engines and Generators, SAE BRASIL, Scania, SIAMIG, SIFAEG, Sindaçúcar-PE, Sindaçúcar-AL, Sindaçúcar, Sindalcool, Stellantis, Toyota do Brasil, Tupy, Unica – Sugarcane Industry Union and Bioenergy, and Volkswagen do Brasil.

Click on the image and access the executive summary of the study: