Four major automakers—Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Holden—have acceded to pressure from the Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, to label their Australian-made cars as compatible with 10% ethanol-gasoline blends (E10).
Macfarlane will meet with GM and Ford in the USA next January and will raise the possibility of similarly labelling cars imported to Australia by those manufacturers.
It’s a visual reassurance that the car manufacturer stands not only behind its cars but behind the use of ethanol blends.
This is a decisive step towards correcting public perceptions and rebuilding consumer confidence in ethanol which was derailed by an ill-informed, political scare campaign by the Labor Party, who have long opposed ethanol.
Through this agreement, we now have a solid base on which to build an Australian ethanol market—that’s E10. Nothing more, nothing less.—Ian Macfarlane
A Biofuels Taskforce report in late September determined that low consumer confidence in ethanol was not justified and that most post-1986 vehicles on Australian roads could use an E10 blend.
But blending of ethanol with gasoline is so far confined to a small number of BP and Caltex stations in Queensland. Australia presently has only two ethanol producers, privately-owned Manildra in New South Wales and CSR in Queensland.
The government has set a target for indigenous biofuels production of at least 350 million liters (92.5 million gallons US) per year by 2010.