Ford, GM clash over best alternative fuel

Ethanol or liquid petroleum gas (LPG)? Battle lines for alternative fuels are being drawn between automakers General Motors and Ford Motor Co. with much of the differences based on nationality.

Saab, which is owned by General Motors, is backing ethanol as the fuel of the future. Ford Australia is backing LPG. Both marques point out that their vehicles simply cannot support the other's fuel either technologically or, in most cases, nationally. States spokeswoman Sinead McAlary of Ford, "Cars in Australia are not built to run on E85, and there isn't an E85 network here to allow people to fuel their vehicles. It would take a total shift of the [automotive] market and sizeable resources [for E85 to become viable here]. And it would take significant steps for the fuel to become well recognised by people in Australia."

Saab counters that its ethanol-powered vehicles are exempt from certain charges and fees like parking in the city of Stockholm. Also, most European automakers have discontinued investment in LPG technologies, focusing instead on ethanol. Finally, the Swedish automaker points out that its Biopower Saab turbo engines actually perform more effectively with ethanol instead of LPG and can even run on unleaded fuel.

[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]

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