As promised, here is the second video from GM Europe for the day, this time highlighting the Saab BioPower 100 concept vehicle. This car differs from standard Saab cars sold today by being powered by 100% ethanol. Again, like the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle we showed you earlier today, ethanol is another of the controversial suggested solutions to our dependence on petroleum as our main motive fuel source. As you probably already know, ethanol is an alcohol fuel that is derived from plant matter. In the U.S., that plant is usually corn, and in other parts of the world, such as Brazil, sugarcane is used. There are many plants which would be better than corn, but that is another posting for another day.
Kjell ac Bergström, CEO GM Powertrain Sweden, here suggests that a smaller engine would suffice for any particular vehicle if it were powered by ethanol as opposed to gasoline. This is because ethanol burns cooler and at a higher octane level, allowing a greater amount of power to be generated at any given engine size over gasoline. Smaller, more efficient engines are certainly a step in the right direction, and the fact that performance would not be diminished is icing on the cake.