Saab have issued their press release on the BEST program in Europe, of which they’re a major participant. I first wrote about this a few days ago. Whether e85 is just another fad or turns out to be a real and viable alternative fuel is yet to be seen, but it’s a good thing that Saab are a major player right from the get-go.
As an aside, those tail lights are growing on me. That’s a handsome car from that angle, folks.
The press release from Saab…….
Saab joins BEST European ethanol project
Cross functional co-operation to help solve a ‘chicken and the egg’ problem over use of ethanol in European markets outside Sweden.
BEST – BioEthanol for Sustainable Transportation – is a four year project, partly funded by the EU, in which three car manufacturers, ten locations, five ethanol producers and four universities are to co-operate cross functionally to accelerate the introduction of ethanol as alternative automotive fuel in Europe. The City of Stockholm is acting as a co-ordinator for starting up initiatives and Saab, one of the car manufacturers involved, will contribute to the project with test cars, technical competence and education.
The objective for the BEST project is to establish a launch pad for a major breakthrough in the perception of ethanol as an alternative automotive fuel. It is also carrying out research to encourage the use of common standards and recommendations for Europe.
BEST was officially launched in Stockholm this month (January) at a three-day conference for all participating organizations. The first phase of the project calls for the creation of a functioning infrastructure with at least 140 ethanol pumps at ten selected sites, including eight European cities. It is hoped that this will lead to nearly 10,000 ethanol-powered cars being put on the road as demonstrators to inspire businesses, communities and drivers in general.
Due to Saab’s Scandinavian heritage and the fact that it is the first car manufacturer in the premium segment to combine a fun-to-drive experience with respect for the environment, it is only natural for Saab to participate in BEST. Saab wants to show its commitment to and responsibility for future transportation solutions. Until non-fossil fuel hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles become widely available, ethanol is currently an accessible means of achieving sustainable development.
Apart from Saab, Ford Europe and Omni/Scania are also contributing from the automotive sector. The fuel producers involved come from Sweden (Sekab), Holland, Great Britain, Ireland and Brazil; the contributing universities are Umeå University (Sweden), Tsinghua University (China), Genoa University (Italy) and Imperial College (UK). The participating cities are Stockholm, Rotterdam, Dublin, Madrid, Baskia, La Spezia, Nanyang (China) and Sao Paulo (Brazil), in addition to the county of Somerset (UK) and the Bio fuel Region (Sweden).
Ethanol contributes to reduced atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), the ‘greenhouse’ gas widely believed to contribute to global warming, because emissions during driving are balanced by the amount of CO2 that is removed from the atmosphere when crops for conversion to ethanol are being grown. In contrast, gasoline is a fossil-based fuel and its use adds new amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere, which have lain fixed underground in oil deposits for millions of years.
"BEST is an excellent initiative for Saab to take part in," says Knut Simonsson, Vice President Global Marketingand Sales, Saab Automobile. "I am convinced that all participants will benefit greatly from both the project and each other’s experiences. Right now, interest in ethanol as an alternative fuel is increasing in many markets and it is, therefore, tremendously exciting to be able to drive developments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through using such a renewable fuel for road transport."
More information about BEST can be found on: www.best-europe.org