GM dares to dream of E85

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page - Paul Gover Na­tional edi­tor

MIKE Dev­ereux could be the Kevin Cost­ner of Aus­tralian mo­tor­ing. The head ofGMHolden is not an ac­tor, but his E85 push with the lat­est Com­modore is a lot like Cost­ner’s work in the movie Field of Dreams.

If you haven’t seen the film, Cost­ner builds a base­ball di­a­mond on his farm in ru­ral Amer­ica and the ghosts of many of the game’s greats come to play.

In Dev­ereux’s case, he is build­ing a bio-ethanol field for Aus­tralia’s oil com­pa­nies to play on.

Cal­tex is al­ready in the game, with just over 30 sta­tions up and run­ning for the new fuel and more than 100 planned for next year.

There have been bio-ethanol cars in Aus­tralia be­fore, usu­ally with a Saab badge, but the VEII is the first large-scale push into the E85 fuel which could— em­pha­sis on could— be­come a very big deal for lo­cal driv­ers.

The most im­por­tant thing is that it is re­new­able and not drawn from petroleum.

There is still 15 per cent un­leaded in the brew, to help with things such as cold start­ing, but it’s ba­si­cally a plant-based fuel made in Aus­tralia from sugar cane waste.

Even bet­ter, a global con­sor­tium— headed by Gen­eral Mo­tors and us­ing technology de­vel­oped by a com­pany called Coskata— even­tu­ally plans to make ethanol from house­hold rub­bish.

Right now, Dev­ereux ad­mits very few Com­modore cus­tomers will get much ben­e­fit from the E85 work. Some will see the 34¢ ad­van­tage over a litre of pre­mium un­leaded— the Cal­tex prom­ise— and there are fleet buy­ers who will see the green cre­den­tials of the fuel. But he says Aus­tralia has to start some­where. ‘‘We’re lay­ing it down, tak­ing a lead­er­ship po­si­tion,’’ Dev­ereux tells cars­Guide.

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