When you are at the car industry news coal-face it is difficult to keep up with who is doing what with which alternative fuel. Each manufacturer has their own vision for the future be it hybrids, bio-diesel, hydrogen and a number of others.
You canâ€™t help thinking it would be far more efficient if they just chose one ultimate replacement for fossil fuel and all worked towards implementing itâ€¦isnâ€™t the really difficult part of the whole process replacing our current fossil fuel manufacture and delivery infrastructure with one for an alternative fuel source?
Just to muddy the waters even more Volvo, Saab and Lotus are all putting a lot of effort into the use of Bioethanol or Ethanol derived from plants.
Volvo has actually recently announced that it will be introducing Bioethanol powered cars to its UK range with the first customers expected to take delivery in July this year. The Bioethanol Volvos are referred as â€˜Flexfuelâ€™ vehicles for their ability to use petrol only or E85 fuel which is an 85% percent ethanol/petrol blend.
Ethanol is a naturally high octane fuel source and vehicles running on a majority Ethanol blend will produce more power but also use mildly more fuel. Volvo is not expecting the new Bioethanol cars to big sellers mainly because there is little in the way of Bioethanol refueling infrastructure in existence.
Saab are also dabbling in Bioethanol with their Saab BioPower cars being used throughout Europe. Recently the UK Secretary of State for the Environment David Miliband was chauffeured in a Saab BioPower car to the ground breaking of what will be the UKâ€™s largest Bioethanol plant.
Perhaps the most interesting Bioethanol car is the Lotus Exige 265E which has recently left the UK for a tour of Japan. The somewhat fettled Exige S is able to run on 100% petrol or E85. Either way it manages to accelerate from 0-100km/h in only 4.1 seconds...
So whatâ€™s it going to beâ€¦hydrogen, hybrids, biodiesel, bioethanol, electric or proton capacity flux-convertors? As Iâ€™ve said before, when it comes to cars we live in interesting times.