Back-Home-Cathing-Up-On-Hybrid Snippets

Wow it’s good to be home….check this out….tree guage.

Tree Guage.jpg


I’ve been catching up on all the info I’ve missed over the last few days, specifically all the information on the Saab Biopower Hybrid Concept.

If you can read Swedish, there’s a Microsite for it here.

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  1. The rear-drive motor/gen thing…sweet. Now thats how AWD should be! Rick, Bob…this technology needs to be “fastlaned”. BTW IDS needs to sell me another cars.

  2. This could be huge for Saab. The California market is probably their biggest market in the US, and this car fills a need out there that no other manufacturer is addressing: an environmentally responsible, yet SEXY luxury convertible. Saab could sell every single unit it could manufacture. They need to make this car happen.

  3. “and all with zero emissions”, now I know you didn’t mean this, Swade.

    I noticed the careful wording of the official SAAB press release on this and know that’s where you got the above statement.

    The press release is a bit disingenuous. It says that the car has “no emissions from FOSSIL FUELS”. This is true. When running pure E100 (rather than a blend, which the car is capable of running off), there would be no emissions from FOSSIL FUELS, but there would still be emissions.

    In any internal combustion engine you’re going to have exhaust. Even if running E100 the engine is going to give off CO2 (as well as other gases, I would guess as I’m sure ethanol doesn’t burn so cleanly the only byproduct is carbon-dioxide). It’s just that SAAB is concentrating on NET emissions, not GROSS emissions. They’re figuring the CO2 removed from the air in the growing of the crops which will be converted to ethanol will more than make up for the amount emitted from the engine.

    There is careful marketing going on, but I think we need to be careful to point out that there are indeed emissions, they’re just not as much as a gasoline or diesel engine. This isn’t an all-electric car with no emissions.

  4. Unrelated, but good news: the 9-3 SportCombi has received a very balanced review in USA Today, one of the major US newspapers. They position it as a real competitor to the germans, although they lament the lack of all-wheel drive and nitpick things like the low-quality plastic around the steering wheel, etc. Anyway, they thankfully don’t moan about Saab being owned by GM, nor do they mention the word “quirky” too often.

    Here’s the link:

  5. Right you are 1985 Gripen! CO2, NOx, CO and smaller amounts of oxidized and/or catalyzed additives or naturally-occuring impurities (Sulfur, lead, iron, phosphorous, potassium, etc.).

    Generally alcohol is cleaner than gasoline to burn in a vehicle.

    However, I’m not so sure about some of the other aspects of alcohol as a fuel. Transportation is a problem: pipeline technology is not readily available, which means that one must transport the fuel by truck or rail. Dirty. Making claims of zero emissions because plants absorb CO2 isn’t the whole story — alcohol fuel will be burned several (hundred?) miles away from the corn/sugar/wheat farms. Unless the plants are nearby, emissions are still a problem at the point of combustion. If you’ve ever visited Sao Paulo (I have), you know what I’m talking about: the whole city reeks of partially burned sugar alcohol and gasoline mixed. In their case, this has more to do with the lack of any pollution controls on the cars than the fuel, but my point is this: emissions are still a local problem.

  6. Gripen,

    Excuse my exuberance, but it was really nice to be home again. Perhaps the word ‘fossil’ would have made things right, but I think people would basically understand anyway: Hybrids are finally interesting for drivers.

  7. Hey! Gripen!
    You do have a point, but look at any competitor…There isn’t any!
    Who can compete with “zero emissions” even if it is zero impact on the environment?
    I think this is the best thing to show every car manufacturer that the Saab can produce good viechles to prevent environmental problems. Hopefully Saab will make money on this. If not, every other producer can make some money doing the same thing but just faster….
    I hope and want Saab to do this first and to make some money before every other car manufacturer take this as a standard.

  8. One thing about the wheels is that they’re much better looking than the Audi A8s which they initially appeared to resemble. Phew! Not that there’s anything wrong with Audi’s…..

    As for the importance of this whole direction for Saab…its early days but this could be enormous. Time to market? Price?
    And in a slightly different tone to you Swade, the tree-hugging aspect of this is very, very exciting alongside the driving ones. I appreciate that you weren’t exactly pushing it off the agenda but the sustainability of the car is a massive issue for our lifetimes.

    Nice work Saab.

  9. Pete,

    What I was trying to say is that Saab have finally made Hybrids interesting for me. Prior to that, well it’s a great idea and very, very important, but the ones to hit market were truly yawn-worthy.

    Trust the Swedes to make an uber-hybrid, and do it in a convertible.

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