The luck of the Irish

They get their ethanol from cows, drink black beer, can talk anyone under the table and they’re surrounded by green. Once a year they let their best footballers play against us Aussies and get the daylights beaten out of them. Our latest “Australian Idol” winner is one of them. My stepson’s about to head there and can’t wait to catch up with what he reckons are the friendliest people he’s met on his round-the-world trip.

They’re the Irish.

And if I were living among them I’d be having some fun with this. When Saab GB director Jonathon Nash talls about proper government incentives to promote the use of green technologies, this is a prime example of what he’d like to see.


In Ireland, the Saab 9-5 Linear with 2.0t Biopower costs 46,170 Euros.

BUT – take a look at this…..

The BioPower Saab is the first premium car on the Irish market to run on E85 and joins the Ford Focus Flexifuel as Ireland’s latest environmentally friendly car. Like the Ford, the Saab can run on either E85 or unleaded petrol or any mixture of the two.

Also like the Ford, the 2.0-litre turbo-charged 9-5 benefits from a 50 per cent Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) rebate. This brings the base model’s price to under €40,000, which represents a saving of over €6,000 on the standard petrol-fuelled model.

So, we have a Biopower 9-5 capable of an extra 30hp over it’s petrol filled brother and we’ve got about 6,000 Euros to spare!!

What can we do with that?

Why not lob over to Hirsch and get the Hirsch Biopower upgrade for 1,100 Euros and boost your performance by another 40hp. Your torque is also way up from a seemingly nonsenical 240Nm (standard petrol) to a chrome-sucking 340Nm on E85. The diagram below is for the petrol version with the Hirsch upgrade. Shouldn’t that upper line be in green?


You’ve done all this for less than the price of the standard petrol model. Your fuel economy will be down a bit, but Ireland’s 104RON cowjuice ethanol is 30 cents per litre cheaper than regular 95RON unleaded.

More go, less cash and somewhere in the mix you’re emitting less bad stuff too.

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  1. Eggsngrits,

    I just tried e-mailing your aol address and it bounced stating an invalid e-mail address. It is the address from your blog.

    Do you have one that works?

  2. So, how do you get ethanol from a cow? I can see getting it from black beer, but cows? Wait, do they feed black beer to the cows and then collect what comes out the other end?

  3. The company that supplies ethanol in Ireland is Maxol. This is from their website:

    The supplier of bioethanol for this E85 fuel is Carbery Group, in Ballineen, Co. Cork, and the source product is milk. Milk as a complete food contains all the essential nutrients for consumers to sustain and thrive. It contains protein, fat, lactose (carbohydrate or energy source) as well as minerals and vitamins. During cheese & food ingredient production all the proteins, fat and other components are removed except for the lactose. The lactose is present in a water solution which when fermented with yeast produces a 3.5% alcohol solution. This is then distilled to 96% v/v ethanol. However to use as a fuel we have to increase the strength to 99.9% and this is achieved by passing the ethanol over a molecular bead bed which takes out the residual water and gives the desired ethanol strength. The cows which produce the milk are 90% grass fed with the balance made up of cereals. On this basis the ethanol is derived from renewable source i.e. grass and cereals.

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