Click on the Saab 9-4x BioPower concept for a high-res gallery

When it comes to seriously promoting ethanol as a motor fuel, two countries jump to the forefront and neither of the them is the United States. While the U.S. government provides a lot subsidies to corn growers and ethanol producers as well as fuel efficiency credits to vehicles capable of running on E85, the market here is still tiny. Brazil, of course, got into the ethanol game a long time ago thanks to their cultivation of sugar cane. Sweden, however, is the one racing ahead with plans to completely supplant fossil fuels with renewable replacements within the next two decades. While the U.S. has barely topped 1,200 E85 pumps nationwide, the Scandinavian nation of 5 million drivers has over 1,000 already.

The Swedish government gives drivers a break with no pump taxes on ethanol. Hometown brand Saab, with its predominantly turbocharged engine lineup, has been promoting E85 through its BioPower branding. The forestry industry in northern Sweden is also investing heavily in cellulosic ethanol research as a way of making use of their waste products. Now the Michigan government is looking to Sweden for guidance in developing a renewable fuels industry here. With any luck Michigan will be able to create at least a fraction of the 400,000 jobs that are claimed for the renewable fuels industry in Sweden.

[Source: Detroit News]

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