The BEST (BioEthanol for Sustainable Transport) project officially launched in Stockholm last week at a three-day conference for all participants.
BEST is a four-year project, partly funded by the European Union (EU), in which three vehicle manufacturers, ten locations, five ethanol producers and four universities will cooperate cross-functionally to accelerate the introduction of bioethanol as alternative automotive fuel in Europe.
The objective for the BEST project is to establish a launch pad for a major breakthrough in the perception of bioethanol as an alternative automotive fuel. It is also carrying out research to encourage the use of common standards and recommendations for Europe.
The first phase of the project calls for the creation of a functioning infrastructure with at least 140 E85 and E95 pumps at ten selected sites, including eight European cities, Nanyang in China and Sao Paolo in Brazil.
Project sponsors hope that this will lead to about 10,000 bioethanol-powered cars being put on the road as demonstrators to inspire businesses, communities and motorists in general. Among the longer-term goals is the testing of hybrid-electric vehicles running blends from E10 to E85.
Saab Automobile, Ford of Europe and Omni/Scania are contributed from the automotive sector. The fuel producers involved come from Sweden, Holland, Great Britain, Ireland and Brazil.
The contributing universities are Umeå University (Sweden), Tsinghua University (China), Genoa University (Italy) and Imperial College (UK). The participating cities are Stockholm, Rotterdam, Dublin, Madrid, Baskia, La Spezia, Nanyang (China) and Sao Paulo (Brazil), in addition to the county of Somerset (UK) and the Biofuel Region (Sweden).
The City of Stockholm is acting as a coordinator for starting up initiatives.