Welcome to Saab BioPower, the website designed by
Saab to support driving solutions based on bioethanol, one of the
world’s most exciting and effective 'green fuels'.
Here you can learn how bioethanol is produced, how
it reduces harmful emissions, and how it’s already making an impact. You
can also learn more about Saab’s commitment to flex-fuel technology.
Most importantly, you can join us in promoting greener driving
throughout the UK. Saab BioPower makes it easy to make a difference:
sign our petitions, get involved in the debates, and look out for action
opportunities as our online community grows.
What is bioethanol?
Bioethanol is a completely renewable and sustainable alternative fuel source. When bioethanol is mixed in high volumes with low volumes of petrol, a potent yet environmentally friendly alternative fuel called bioethanol E85 is created. This eco-friendly fuel can reduce by up to 70% the typical emissions of fossil carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the greenhouse gases widely believed to contribute to global warming.
Bioethanol is available in various blends, most commonly E5, E10, E85, E100. The E stands for bioethanol and the number denotes the percentage of bioethanol in the blend, so E85 is composed of 85% bioethanol and 15% petrol.
How does it reduce CO2 emissions?
Since bioethanol comes from biomass, it actually ‘recycles' CO2 already present in the atmosphere. That is, the crops grown for conversion to bioethanol remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. When the bioethanol is burned as a fuel during combustion, CO2 is then returned to the atmosphere. However, up to 70% of the CO2 emitted is offset by the bioethanol crops' previous removal process.
As an alternative fuel, not only does bioethanol reduce CO2, it also helps reduce our dependence on oil significantly. This is a major advantage, since oil is a finite resource for which global demand is expected to eventually exceed supply.
The UK is far behind Sweden and Brazil in terms of government support for the biofuel industry. The UK government currently allows a fuel duty rebate of 20p per litre on bioethanol and a £10 reduction in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for environmentally friendly cars like E85 vehicles. The expansion of the UK biofuel industry could be greatly accelerated if government backing included the necessary tax breaks and legislation to make to it commercially viable. Already government support of the biofuel industry in other countries around the world has shown how successful this alternative fuel can be.
Saab is part of a powerful cross-industry group letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer, along with the National Farmers Union (NFU), Ford Motor Company and Morrisons, urging that financial incentives to be introduced in the 2007 budget to develop the UK biofuel industry.
Some of these fiscal incentives in the UK could include:
- Maintaining and preferably increasing the fuel duty rebate for bioethanol beyond 2008. It is currently fixed at 20p per litre until 2008. (In Sweden, the discount for bioethanol is about 30p per litre and is fixed until 2011.)
- Adapting the company car taxation system to take account of the 'well to wheel' CO2 benefits of bioethanol (in Sweden, flex-fuel vehicle owners receive a 20% discount off company car tax).
- Incorporating significant discounts for E85 vehicles into the UK Vehicle Excise Duty. Currently, customers who buy a BioPower receive an annual discount of only £10.
- Introducing discounts from local congestion charging schemes for flex-fuel vehicles.
Our BioPower flexi-fuel powered cars run on both petrol and bioethanol, one of the world’s most exciting and effective alternative fuels. Right now, Saab BioPower environmental cars can reduce typical auto emissions of fossil carbon dioxide by up to 70% using E85 bioethanol (85% bioethanol, 15% petrol).
You don't have to give up any bhp to go green with a flexi-fuel car. In fact, bioethanol's higher octane rating combined with Saab ingenuity creates even higher engine performance. Typically, when the 2.0t BioPower engine is fuelled with bioethanol E85 alone:
>> Bhp increases by 20%
>> Torque increases 16%
Saab BioPower environmental cars can easily run on petrol alone or petrol and bioethanol in any proportion - no adjustments required.
No doubt about the benefit
According to Swedish research, a typical petrol consumer drives 15,000 km per year on 1,350 litres of petrol. Over the same distance, a typical BioPower driver would use 1,755 litres of E85 bioethanol, which contains only 263 litres of petrol. So every BioPower driver could reduce petrol usage (and harmful emissions) by 1,087 litres per year. You can spend less fuel only in car games or monster truck games! Or you can play racing games at thepcaa.org - cool site with lots of flash games!
Saab BioPower is a flexi-fuel engine. It can run on bioethanol E85, petrol or any mixture of the two. The engine automatically detects what's in the tank and adjusts accordingly.
Bioethanol E85 has a much higher octane rating (104) than petrol (95), and the turbocharged flexi-fuel engine allows the use of a higher boost pressure and more advanced ignition timing - giving more engine power - than is possible on petrol without risk of harmful 'knocking' or pre-detonation. The only hardware modifications necessary are more durable valves and valve seats, and the use of bioethanol-compatible materials in the fuel system, including the tank, pump, lines and connectors.
The adaptability of Saab's powerful Trionic engine management system has facilitated re-programming to accommodate the different ignition timing and fuel/air mixture requirements of E85 fuel. Trionic monitors fuel quality after every visit to the filling station and automatically makes any adjustments necessary for running on E85 and/or petrol in any combination. That means Saab BioPower drivers can also use petrol, should E85 not be available.