Australia to get more E85 access

This press release is actually from Holden, but the content is primarily news that will be of interest to any Saab BioPower owners here in Australia.

Caltex are looking to expand the number of E85 pumps, first in NSW and then the rest of Australia, providing up to 100 pumps by mid-2011.

Of course, it mentions nothing about GM’s former Swedish brand, who would have heped holden optimise for E85 and who were the first company to offer E85 use here in Australia, but that’s OK.

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Holden welcomes Caltex Bio E-Flex to NSW

* Caltex launches first NSW Bio E-Flex fuel pumps, to increase to 100 by mid 2011
* Ethanol fuel can power vehicles in the upcoming Commodore VE Series II range
* The ethanol in Bio E-Flex reduces CO₂ and is a renewable resource

Holden today welcomed Caltex Australia’s announcement that it would install 10 pumps in New South Wales to sell its new fuel, Bio E-Flex.

Making the announcement was New South Wales Minister for Planning, Infrastructure and Lands, Tony Kelly, who is a strong advocate for the development of the Australian biofuel industry.

Holden’s Energy and Environment Director Richard Marshall said the ethanol-blend fuel, also known as E85, would be suitable for vehicles within the new Holden Commodore VE Series II range, to be launched in the coming months.

“In a major step towards creating a cleaner Australian fuel landscape, many VE Series II customers will be able to run their cars on high ethanol blend fuel, which, international studies have shown, has the potential to reduce vehicle CO₂ emissions by up to 50 per cent, when compared to petrol.”

He said Caltex’s Bio E-Flex consisted of up to 85 per cent ethanol, blended with 15 per cent petrol. While vehicles in the Series II range would be capable of running on this fuel, he said they would have flex-fuel capability, allowing them to also run on Caltex Bio E-Flex, Bio E10, Unleaded, Premium or any combination.

“The introduction of flex-fuel capability on Series II vehicles highlights Holden’s leadership position in reducing the impact of personal transportation on the environment,” he said.

“As part of our EcoLine strategy, we have a commitment to offering our customers a broad range of vehicles that use alternative fuel or fuel-saving technologies. These solutions are designed to make motoring affordable as well as being better for the environment.”

He said Bio E-Flex would be available at 31 Caltex service stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra by October, with the number of pumps scheduled to increase to 100 metropolitan and regional locations by mid 2011.

“For Holden to bring flex-fuel vehicles to market, it is imperative that customers can buy the fuel from a network of pumps that are easily accessed. The commitment made by Caltex to install 100 pumps by mid-2011 will help make this a reality.”

“What better way better way to move this new fuel from a niche product into the mainstream market, than to make it available from a major fuel supplier and suitable for use in Australia’s favourite car?” he said.

Common questions:

What is Caltex’s Bio E-Flex fuel?

Bio E-Flex is a high ethanol blend fuel containing up to 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent petrol. It is often known as E85 or even bio-ethanol.

What are the benefits of using Bio E-Flex?

There are several important benefits, including:

* It helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions
* It helps reduce our dependence on fossil fuels
* Ethanol, the major component of the fuel, is a renewable resource

Where can I buy Bio E-Flex?

Caltex will begin selling Bio E-Flex at 31 metropolitan service stations, increasing to 100 stations in 2011. In New South Wales, the fuel will be on sale at the following Caltex sites, from October 1, 2010:

* MANLY, 86 Pittwater Road
* GOSFORD WEST, 69-71 Pacific Highway
* TEMPE, 775 Princes Highway
* HEATHCOTE, 1403 Princes Highway
* DRUMMOYNE, 191-195 Lyons Road
* RICHMOND, 98 March Street
* RYDALMERE, 309 Victoria Road
* MOOREBANK, 216 Newbridge Road
* CASULA, 646 Hume Highway
* HAMILTON, 59-63 Tudor Street

Can I fuel my car with Bio E-Flex?

At this stage, few cars on Australians roads are capable of running on Bio E-Flex, and, when it is introduced, vehicles in the VE Series II Commodores will be the first Australian-made cars able to run on this fuel.

Will VE Series II Commodores be able to run on any other fuel other than Bio E-Flex?

Yes. The flex-fuel vehicles in the Holden Commodore VE Series II range can run on Bio E-Flex, E10, Unleaded, Premium or any combination of these fuels.

What is the fuel economy of Bio E-Flex?

When driving on fuel with a high ethanol content, the consumption per kilometre will be higher because ethanol contains less energy than petrol. The car needs the same amount of energy; consequently it needs more fuel.

Will driving a flex-fuel vehicle really make a difference to the environment?

If produced in a sustainable way, ethanol-blended fuel emits fewer greenhouse gases than petrol or diesel. By being mostly renewable, Caltex’s Bio E-Flex fuel helps reduce CO₂ being added to the atmosphere because significant amounts are absorbed by the plant source during its growth cycle.

Does E85 impact the performance of my vehicle?

Although there is less energy in E85, the ethanol component has a higher octane rating than petrol, so you’re likely to notice an increase in power and overall performance when driving on E85.

How does a flex-fuel Commodore differ to those without the capability?

Holden has made modifications to its flex-fuel models to enable them to run on unleaded, E10, premium, E85 or a combination of these fuels. Modifications include hardened valves and valve seats and the inclusion of a flex-fuel sensor, which gauges the alcohol content of the fuel and adjusts the calibration accordingly.

Will all Holden vehicles eventually have flex-fuel capability?

We will introduce the fuel saving or alternative fuel technology that is most appropriate for each vehicle. Flex-fuel capability has great potential and we are considering the technology for other carlines in the future.

Are ethanol-blended fuel or flex fuel cars being used anywhere else?

Ethanol-blended fuel is used in vehicles in the United States, Brazil and Sweden. In the US, GM is the global leader in flex-fuel vehicles, having produced more than 3.5 million of the country’s 7.5 million flex-fuel vehicles.

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