April 2, 2021. The Minas Gerais Gas Company (Gasmig) announced, at the beginning of March, that it will freeze the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) for 90 days. The move was taken at a time when Brazil is experiencing consecutive increases in traditional fuels, such as gasoline and ethanol. The expectation is that drivers will convert their vehicles to gas.
Currently, Belo Horizonte has some 30,000 units powered by CNG, according to Gasmig. This figure is much lower than that registered in Rio de Janeiro, where, according to the company, it registers 1 million vehicles with natural gas. “We need to change this mentality in Minas Gerais. We think that, for the good of the company and the market, it would be an opportunity, at this time, while the price of fuels is being discussed, that we freeze that price for 90 days,” said the President of Gasmig, Pedro Magalhães.
According to an investigation by the distributor, the average price per cubic meter of CNG in Belo Horizonte and the Metropolitan Region is R$ 3.40. A lower value than that of a liter of ethanol, which is sold at an average of R$ 4.12, in addition to a liter of gasoline, with an average of R$ 5.57.
As a result, drivers who choose natural gas travel a greater distance for less money. For example: those who pay R$ 50 for gasoline travel 96 km, while those who opt for ethanol, putting the same value, can drive 90 km. With natural gas, the distance could reach 200 km.
According to Magalhães, the Governor of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema, signed a law that exempts from the Property Tax on Motor Vehicles (IPVA) for cars manufactured in the state and that run on CNG for two years. In addition, he revealed that the Governor is trying to reduce the rate of the Tax on the Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS) for gas vehicles, which currently stands at 18%.