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Saab Launches Australia’s First Ethanol Car



19th October, 2007

Saab 9-5 BioPower

Saab, a global leader in renewable fuels, has launched Australia’s first ethanol-fueled production car.

Called Saab BioPower, it is a flex-fuel ethanol powered version of the Saab 9-5, which can run on E85 (a mix of 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent petrol) or petrol, in any combination, from the one fuel tank.

This flex-fuel capability allows drivers to refuel BioPower on petrol where ethanol isn’t available, which is important in the take-up phase of an alternative fuel.

Director GM Premium Brands, Parveen Batish, says Saab is proud to be leading the automotive industry in Australia, as it has in Sweden, with alternative fuel options for environmentally conscious drivers.

“Saab BioPower is the first production ethanol fuel vehicle for sale in this country,” Mr Batish said.

“With Saab’s expertise in turbocharging, BioPower is able to achieve even better performance on E85 compared to running on petrol and leads the industry in offering drivers responsible performance."

“Since we put the first Saab BioPower test vehicles on Australian roads in January we have had a huge amount of interest from governments, ethanol producers and the general public."

“Based on this positive feedback we believe Australians are willing to invest in BioPower, which will help stimulate the demand needed to convince fuel retailers and regulators to facilitate the introduction of E85 fuel pumps at service stations locally.”

In Saab’s Swedish home market nearly 900 E85 pumps have been established since BioPower was launched two years ago and more than 20,000 BioPower vehicles have been sold.

Successful collaboration between community, government, fuel suppliers and manufacturers helped make renewable fuels the ‘norm’, not an ‘alternative’.

By running on E85, Saab estimates drivers can reduce their fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 80 per cent. When extracted fossil fuels power vehicles, they add CO2 to the atmosphere during the combustion process of driving.

Alternatively, Bioethanol is produced from biomass, such as crops or forest residue and the CO2 released when driving is absorbed from the atmosphere by the photosynthesis of the crops grown to produce the fuel.

The best selling environmentally friendly vehicle in Sweden, BioPower has also been launched across Europe, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, France and Norway.

Saab offers BioPower in 9-5 Sedan and SportEstate body-styles, with a 2.3 litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which generates up to 20 per cent more power and 16 per cent more torque when driven on E85 compared to petrol.

Saab 9-5 BioPower generates approximately 154 kW and 310 Nm of torque on E85, up from 136 kW and 280 Nm on petrol.

The renewable E85 fuel is not currently sold commercially in Australia, however there are a number of ethanol-compatible pumps established around the country, which are capable of switching to commercial sale.

Saab BioPower Pricing
Saab BioPower represents a $1,500 price premium of the equivalent 9-5 Linear petrol model. Prices below are recommended retail and exclude dealer delivery and state/territory government charges.

9-5 BioPower Sedan 154 kW/310 Nm $61,900
9-5 BioPower SportEstate 154 kW/310 Nm $63,900

Look for our Saab 9-5 BioPower road test in coming weeks.

Other Saab content: here.

Other General Motors content: here.

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