Tuesday Night Snippets

Saab have pinned their hopes on BioPower.

And the US President recently gave a State of the Union speech that provided a reasonable boost to ethanol investment and the stock prices of ethanol manufacturers.

Maybe we’ve hit one of those bumps in the road, however. One of the arguments against current ethanol production methods in the US is the food vs fuel argument. i.e. Corn being used to make ethanol could be feeding people rather than providing transportation.

From Autoblog Green:

According to Z Mag, tortilla prices in many regions of Mexico have jumped up by more than 50 percent, thanks to more and more corn going to feed ethanol production instead of people. Protests aimed at Felipe Calderon’s government prompted him to negotiate a price cap of 8.5 pesos per kilogram for tortillas made by the largest manufacturers. Still, this is a 40 percent increase. In some regions, a kilogram of tortillas now costs as much as a third of a day’s wage.

Cellulosic ethanol technology can’t come quick enough….


And speaking of biofuels, our neighbors in New Zealand are committing to a biofuel target of 3.4% of vehicle sales by 2012. In addition, there’s six government departments there that have committed to going carbon-neutral by the same date.

New Zealand journos were present at the Australian launch of BioPower a few weeks ago. iIt’s unknown however if there’s any BioPower fleet cars being tested over there.

Thanks Ross


Saab nuts in Easter Canada, or in Toronto to be more precise (it’s a big country), can go and check out the JL Racing Saab 9-3 at the Toronto Auto Show. It’ll be in on display from February 16 to 25.

Their racing program for 2007 starts in May at Mosport International Raceway.



Thanks to Eggs n Grits for forwarding the link for this.

A new Saab Accessory perhaps? The Trunk Monkey.

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  1. Toronto would be in central canada, or upper canada if you take an historical view (of course from the view of those who live there it is the centre of the known universe!). The east coast is a further 1700 km east of TO. And “lord-tunderen me boy”, if you want to visit the island of Newfoundland add another 700km east of there.

  2. The cause of the higher corn prices in Mexico has NOTHING to do with ethanol. Their demand there is higher than the supply. They normally tax corn imports from the U.S. but have temporarily waived all tariffs on U.S. corn in an effort to increase supply and drive down the price of corn in Mexico. Mexico is not low on corn because it’s using some portion of it to make ethanol (I don’t know if they have a single ethanol plant).

    The author of the article AutoBlogGreen links to is obviously bent on blaming all of Mexico’s problems on the U.S. however ludicrous the claim may be. Nothing sells books like stirring up controversy and the article’s author just so happens to be writing a book on Mexico’s tortilla industry. The U.S. as the “bad guy” is a very popular story in Mexico.

    Please read my comments in the AutoBlogGreen blog entry for more details if you’re interested.

  3. As all of you know, I’m NOT a fan of ethanol as a fuel for internal combustion engines. It’s just too much work for too little gain to me.

    On the other hand, about Mexico: not a single kernel is made into ethanol except perhaps to drink (haha). In Mexico gasoline is so cheap that it make our pricing look positively European! There is NO driving force.

    Mexican politics are notorious for casting the US as the bad guy, when in reality, without us Mexico wouldn’t be the most robust economy in all of Latin America. In fact, because of NAFTA, Mexico’s Northern provinces (traditionally the most poor) have boom town status — yet they complain! Unreal.

    And, Swade, the trunk monkey will take a little work for Swedish winter. I’m thinking that a Saab logo coat will be in order. You may wish to work up a Trunk Monkey sweatshirt on Cafe Press as a temporary measure.

    Check the monkey’s reading material on the theft prevention version!

  4. I agree with those above about the stupidity of the Mexican tortilla argument against ethanol. Mexicans have been making corn tortillas for thousands of years with locally grown corn. They have switched to American-grown corn because it is cheaper (more efficient farming methods), and because of the tariff reductions from NAFTA. Now that American corn prices are going up, it provides an opportunity for Mexican producers to compete again.

    I just read a news article (sorry I can’t seem to paste the link) of an ethanol plant being built in Wyoming (USA) that will use wood waste to produce ethanol. Based on research from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, it will be the first of its kind. So corn may be a temporary thing anyway

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