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Put wheat in your tank

Volvo, Saab and Lotus active with bioethanol

By Adam towler / Tuesday, May 15, 2007

C30 now able to drink ethanol

C30 now able to drink ethanol

Volvo has announced the introduction of bioethanol powered cars to its UK range, with the first customer cars being delivered this July.

Termed ‘Flexifuel’ the technology will be available for C30, S40 and V50 models fitted with the 1.8 litre 125PS engine, with a 145PS V70 model arriving towards the end of the year. When running on higher-octane E85 ethanol the cars produce slightly more power, but with mildly reduced fuel economy.

Even Volvo admit however that the new cars will be slow sellers, with only 50-100 - out of the total expected sales of 7000 – expected to be sold over here. Volvo cites the scarcity of Bioethanol fuel stations and the lack of any government incentive to purchase the fuel as the main reasons.

Miliband searches for an ethanol fuel station...

Miliband searches for an ethanol fuel station...

Talking of which, David Miliband – Secretary of State for the Environment – was chauffeured in a Saab 9-5 Biopower to Teeside last week to witness the ground laying for what will be the largest Bioethanol plant in the UK. The facility will have the potential to create 400 million litres of the fuel once it is up and running.

Apparently, in a recent ministerial speech, Mr Miliband said that the UK must consider the move to a post-oil economy and stated that transport would be the biggest challenge. Perhaps he should pick up the phone to Volvo…

Exige 265E heads for Japan

Exige 265E heads for Japan

But it’s not just the Swedes that are forging ahead with plant power. Lotus is taking their remarkable Exige 265E out of the country for the first time. The tweaked Exige S – which can run on either pure petrol or an 85% ethanol/petrol mix – will be on show at the JSAE show in Yokohama later this month. With up to 268PS available and a 0-62mph time of just 4.1sec, it should go down a storm in lotus-loving Japan.

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