Legendary venture capitalist Vinod Khosla gives a three minute talk about ethanol powered “flex fuel” cars. He tells us that Brazil has adopted ethanol fueled cars in an amazing way – they’ve gone from 4% to 70% of all new car sales being of flex fuel. This is because ethanol is a LOT cheaper than oil in Brazil, and consumers want cars that use this cheaper fuel. Volkswagen is now considering phasing out gasoline powered cars in this, the 10th largest auto market in the world.
Ethanol’s not only cheaper – it’s better for the environment, with 60-80% fewer emissions than petroleum. It’s sustainable, not extractive, and is an easy switch for automakers. (Khosla tells us there’s a 130-page report on his website with more information on ethanol – I will link it when I find it…)
Khosla is now co-chairing a ballot initiative to get California to add an oil extraction tax… he tells us California is the only oil producing state that doesn’t have this sort of a tax. He sees the tax as raising $4 billion dollars over 10 years for petroleum reduction efforts, like flex fuel cars.