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Buggy Power runs more than 50x more kilometers than an ethanol buggy

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

An all-electric dune buggy runs much more kilometers with an hectare destined for photovoltaic solar panels than an ethanol buggy with the same area of sugarcane or corn plantation. Read and be surprised by the numbers.


Do you want to know how many kilometers an ethanol buggy runs with the production of 1 (one) hectare of sugarcane? See the calculation explained below.


One hectare of sugarcane feeding an ethanol buggy

At first, it is important to record that the primary source of energy of an ethanol-powered buggy is the sun. Sugarcane captures energy from the sun through the photosynthesis process, and through an industrial process, sugarcane is converted into ethanol.

The average sugarcane production in Brazil is approximately 85 t.year/ha (eighty-five tons per year per hectare).

The industrial process converts sugarcane into ethanol with an average of 90 l/t (ninety liters per ton).


Then, ethanol is produced from sugarcane in Brazil at an average of 7,650 l.ano/ha (seven thousand, six hundred and fifty liters per year per hectare).

Considering that each ethanol-powered buggy consumes, on average, 10 km/l (ten kilometers per liter), there is a production of 76,500 km.year/ha (seventy-six thousand five hundred kilometers per year per hectare) of sugarcane plantation.

Taking into account the 365 days/year, there is a production of around 209 km.day/ha (two hundred and nine kilometers per day per hectare) of sugarcane plantation producing ethanol to feed buggies moved with this fuel.

Assuming that each ethanol-powered buggy rotates 70 km/day (seventy kilometers per day), on average, the allocation of 1 ha (one hectare ) for sugarcane plantation for ethanol production feeds only 3 (three) buggies per year.


Do you want to know how many kilometers an ethanol buggy runs with the production of 1 (one) hectare of corn? See the calculation explained below.


One hectare of corn feeding an ethanol buggy

As with sugarcane, the primary source of energy of a corn plantation is the sun. Corn captures energy from the sun through the photosynthesis process, and through an industrial process, a corn plantation can be converted into ethanol.

The average corn production in Brazil is around 7 tons.year/ha (seven tons per year per hectare).


An industrial process converts corn into ethanol with an average of 460 l/t (four hundred and sixty liters per ton).

Then, ethanol is produced from corn in Brazil at an average of 3,220 l.year/ha (three thousand, two hundred and twenty liters per year per hectare).

Considering that each ethanol-powered buggy consumes, on average, 10 km/l (ten kilometers per liter), there is a production of 32,200 km.ano/ha (thirty-two thousand and two hundred kilometers per year per hectare) of corn plantation.

Taking into account the 365 days/year, there is a production of around 88 km.day/ha (eighty-eight kilometers per day per hectare) of corn to ethanol-powered buggies.

Assuming that each ethanol-powered buggy rotates 70 km/day (seventy kilometers per day), on average, the allocation of one hectare for corn plantation for ethanol production feeds only 1.3 (one comma three) buggies per year.


What's next? Do you want to know how many kilometers an all-electric dune buggy runs with the production of electricity by photovoltaic solar panels installed on one hectare? See the calculation explained below.


One hectare of photovoltaic solar panels powering an all-electric dune buggy

It should be registered that the primary source of energy to Buggy Power (an all-electric dune buggy developed with Brazilian technology) is the sun. A photovoltaic system captures energy from the sun and converts it into electricity through an electrochemical process.

For comparison purposes, according to data from the National Institute of Space Research (Inpe), the average photovoltaic production is considered in the city of Curitiba, state of Paraná, southern Brazil, which is 4.61 kWh.day/m² (four comma six kilowatt-hours per day per square meter).

Considering that the electrochemical process of photovoltaic conversion has an average efficiency of 20% (twenty percent) and that 1 ha (one hectare) is equivalent to 10,000 m² (ten thousand square meters), and only 30% of the area can house photovoltaic plates and 70% of the area should be left for circulation between the plates and to avoid shading, as well as for Legal Reserve and other uses, electricity is produced in Curitiba, on an average of 2,760 kWh.dia/ha (two thousand, seven hundred and sixty kilowatt-hours per day per hectare).

Taking into account that each Buggy Power (the 100% Brazilian all-electric dune buggy) runs, on average, 5 km/kWh (five kilometers per kilowatt-hour), there is a production of 13,800 km.day/ha (thirteen thousand eight hundred kilometers per day per hectare) in Curitiba.

Assuming that each Buggy Power (purely electric) rotates 70 km/day (seventy kilometers per day), on average, the destination of 1 ha (one hectare) for photovoltaic solar production of electricity in Curitiba feeds more than 197 (one hundred ninety seven) buggies per year.

One hectare feeds much more kilometers in all-electric dune buggies than in ethanol-powered buggies

In summary, an ethanol-powered buggy runs around 209 km.dia/ha (two hundred and nine kilometers per day per hectare) of sugarcane plantation, while the Buggy Power (the Brazilian all-electric dune buggy) runs around 13,800 km.day/ha (thirteen thousand eight hundred kilometers per day per hectare) with the production of electricity through photovoltaic plates installed in Curitiba.


One hectare feeds more than 50x (fifty times) the mileage of all-electric dune buggies than ethanol-powered buggies.

This is just a comparison made out of curiosity and does not include a financial comparison as well as a comparison of the carbon footprint of each of the comparative technologies. The price of photovoltaic plates and the cost of planting, harvesting, industrialization and transportation of sugarcane or corn were not taken into account. The life of photovoltaic plates was not considered either.


It was also not considered in the comparison that, to produce sugarcane or corn, an adequate type of soil is required, while the production of electricity through photovoltaic solar panels can be carried out anywhere, including on the roofs of houses in Curitiba, which are areas without any other possibility of nobler use.

Finally, as we are already more than 8 billion human beings on Planet Earth, it is believed that the debate on the most efficient destination of the productive areas that humanity has at its disposal (and which are scarce) should be deepened, as well as that they also compete with the production of food for the feeding of living beings, rather than being intended to feed machines.


Well, if you've come this far, you'll be able to answer the following question:

Can one hectare with solar panels feed the mileage of all-electrical buggies how many times more than the same area with the planting of sugarcane for ethanol-powered ones?

a) 2 times more kilometers;

b) 8 times more kilometers;

c) 16 times more kilometers;

d) 32 times more kilometers;

e) more than 64 times more kilometers.

Leave your answer in the comments area below.


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