|Saab 9-5 Bio-Power|
General Motors Spain is partnering with Abengoa Bioenergy for the launch of the Saab 9-5 BioPower E85 flex-fuel vehicle in Spain next year. The move is part of a larger European rollout by GM of both the 2.0t and 2.3t models (earlier post) of the 9-5 BioPower beyond their initial markets in the Nordic countries, the UK and Ireland.
In Spain, GM and Abengoa will work to create joint cooperation agreements with other private companies, municipalities, autonomous communities or organizations located in the main cities in Spain to establish a refueling infrastructure for E85 supplied by Abengoa.
As of today, Abengoa Bioenergy has installed an E85 bioethanol fuel pump in the Madrid premises of Roauto, a distributor of Saab and Opel vehicles. The partners are working to extend the infrastructure to other major cities in Spain. The Municipality of Madrid, the Basque Energy Body and the Environmental Counsel from the Government of Aragon are currently supporting the initiative.
Saab is bringing 9-5 BioPower units to Spain for testing among the partners involved in the project, and will start selling the flex-fuel vehicle at the beginning of next year.
The Saab 9-5 BioPower 2.0t has become Sweden’s top selling environmentally-friendly vehicle, taking almost 30% of sales in a segment that has already grown to account for 13% of the total car market there. For the first nine months of this year, Bio-Power sales totaled 7,700 units. As a result, Saab is raising its full-year Bio-Power sales forecast to 10,000 units, twice its original estimate. This includes a 700-strong order bank that has already built up for the nearly-announced 9-5 2.3t BioPower model, which commences delivery later this month (Oct).
Abengoa Bioenergy is the largest European producer of bioethanol and the fifth-largest in the US. In Spain, Abengoa Bioenergy has three plants of bioethanol, with an installed capacity of 500 million liters per year, and is currently building a demonstration cellulosic ethanol plant with a capacity of 5 million liters per year.
In September, Abengoa announced a similar partnership with Ford to develop the market for flex-fuel vehicles and E85.