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Saab to Launch Flex-Fuel 9-5 BioPower in Spain, Partners with Abengoa Bioenergy

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.



Seriously, filling up one of these bioturbo with ethanol will use up the grains that can feed an average person for a year. So, before cellulosic ethanol kicks in, will this makes sense? And how price effective is cellulosic ethanol compare to grain ethanol? Because industrial players will always use cheaper source to yield more profit, which directly impact to our food source.

We do not eat that much corn flakes but out cow and chicken do.


I think Ethanol economy is ok but is this sustainable to countries other than Brazil?

Can we produce enough Ethanol to power even 25% of the cars on earth?


I'm pretty sure that the ethanol they produce in scandanavia is from waste rather than food crop. I know Ford has a partnership with a firm who make it from sawdust from a local saw mill.

Selim Nouri

Please, do not forget the WINE used for Ethanol production.

In Sweden (leading country in E85) 32% of the ethanol sold is from Souther Europe WINE production (mostly spain and italy).

Source: Swedish EPA, OKQ8, french ministry of agriculture.


Never underestimate the power of GCC posts to find the cloud in every silver lining.




ethanol doesnt use up food corn, it uses up extra feed corn for animal and industrial uses.

Jrod is RIGHT on 100%. you guys can find something wrong with EVERY good idea.If it doesnt fit in with your "idealist" evironmental principals and POLITICS its automatically bad. Get a grip on reality and how real world engineering works (nothings perfect).

fyi CO2

feed corn for animals = food corn for people who eat those animals, ethanol from corn is at/near the bottom of the list regarding sustainability


Turn grains into fuel and then maybe everybody wont be so fat.It is a twofer.

John Schreiber

The corn that ethanol is made from can still feed cows as the protein is not destroyed in the mashing process. Cows then make the milk and meat that feed people, and defecate the manure that makes the methane and fertilzer that feeds the still and corn respectively. It can be a freaking ecosystem! Please get the bigger picture before saying it can't be done. As for land area, does anyone know how many unused acres exist on both sides and the middle of the interstate system, as well as how many acres are infested with invasive species and unused? E3 Biofuels


The US gov pays farmers not to grow. Over the last ten years 143.5 billion. Thats a lot of ethnaol. everbody
seems to yell about food stocks but the fact of the matter is there wrong. and lets not forget this is a short term solution. Cellulosic Ethnaol,Algee


What is the MPG of these turbos?

Rafael Seidl

rexis -

whatever the MPG numbers on gasoline will turn out to be, those on E85 will be ~23% lower due to the lower energy density, even accounting for the modified wastegate management of the turbo. That would be ok if ethanol were 23% cheaper per gallon but it isn't. Vehicle range on a single tank is also severely curtailed.

It makes more sense to blend some ethanol into all gasoline than to force E85 onto the market.


It seems like no matter how many times distillers dry grain and cellulose ethanol get mentioned, there is still talk about food vs. fuel and the poor livesock. Get over it, techology has had the answer for quite a while, you are just not paying attention.


I don't believe that there is enough land to harvest all the biofuel needed to replace every drop of fossil fuel. The good news is that we don't have to and here is why:
Advanced plug in hybrids that will be able to go 100 miles per full charge will come to the market within 5 to 10 years. The government should make sure that great incentives are put in place to heavily subsidize this new technology along with alternate energy sources like wind and solar power (the great benefit or PHEVs is partially negated if we continue using fossil fuels to make electricity)

An electric dominant 100 mile PHEV will use electricity for over 80% of all miles travelled during the life of the vehicle in most cases. the other 20% of the average distance travelled by PHEVs will be covered by liquid fuels.


Regarding MPG, Rafael couldn't be more wrong. Rafael should learn about chemistry and physics before making such ridiculous statements. Lower energy content need not mandate lower fuel economy in a vehicle designed to take advantage of ethanol's advantages and higher energy *quality*. Indeed, Saab's first BioPower (2.0t) acheived 15% improvement on E100 over G100.

I actually have E85 powered transportation. GM's Suburban. In it GM did nothing to take advantage of E85 (I have access to the engine management system so I speak with first hand knowledge). Despite this fact, I do not see a 23% drop in fuel economy, and under load see an improvement. Under non-load I see less than 18% drop in average economy for solely in-town driving. On highway trips through the Rocky Mountains I see about 15% less. This fact alone entirely destroys Rafaels' argument of a directly proportional relationship between energy density and performance. If that isn't enough, vehicles running 10% ethanol tend to show no difference or a slight improvement in fuel economy. According to Rafael's naive claim there should be a 10% drop. Again, there is not.

Mind you this is on a vehicle that was not specifically engineered for ethanol. I've got some changes I've modeled that I'll be implementing in January that should halve the difference. Unfortunately I'm not going the route that E85 best serves: more power from smaller displacement resulting in using smaller engines and thus less fuel.

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