Toyota’s Brazilian Corolla Will Run on Pretty Much Whatever You Want

For 22 years, Toyota Motor Corp. has made hybrid cars that don’t require drivers to choose between running on gas or electricity. In October it will add a third option: ethanol.

The Japanese manufacturer will package its ultrapragmatic drivetrain in an all-new Corolla sedan that will be bolted together at its plant in Sao Paulo. Toyota is billing the vehicle as the cleanest hybrid ever made.

Ethanol has long been a popular fuel in Brazil, where it’s brewed fairly efficiently from fast-growing sugar cane. Because the plants process CO₂ as they grow, ethanol is considered a renewable fuel; burning a gallon of it releases only 10% to 20% as much carbon as burning a gallon of traditional gas, according to Unica, a sugar association.

“The goal is to make a car with zero carbon emission; that’s the industry’s race,” said Ricardo Bastos, Toyota’s head of government relations in Brazil. “With ethanol, we’re closer if you consider the whole cycle, well to wheel.”