During this summer, representatives of the fuel company St1 has made a big tour through Sweden in order to meet local politicians and investigate the possibilities to build production facilities for locally produced bio fuels in the municipalities. The tour is made in an experimental vehicle that only emits 45g CO2/km with E85, and thereby meets the requirements of the Swedish "super eco vehicle" classification.
St1 has, during this year, been in contact with national politicians and officials on the ministries in Stockholm to inform them about their intention to produce ethanol for cars at local facilities across the country. The ethanol tour was a natural extension of that work since the raw materials to produce it are found locally.
The aim of the government is to have a non-fossil vehicle fleet in 2030. Many think it will be difficult to reach that goal. St1 thinks it will be possible to reach even earlier. One of St1´s messages to the politicians is the importance of reintroducing ethanol, E85 in the first place, as the main alternative of biofuels. It is the only biofuel that can be distributed across the whole country today. It can be locally produced from waste from the food industry, and it is possible to produce it in very small production facilities next to the food companies according to St1´s patented production method Etanolix.
The end product, in this case RE85, is equal to normal fuel ethanol. What differs is the production method. RE85 is already being produced and marketed in Finland today. It is 100 percent ethical, and is not to be confused with ethanol made from raw materials or agricultural land that could have been used for food production.
Toyota Prius becomes an ethanol hybrid
To demonstrate the environmental benefits that are possible to achieve with existing techniques, St1 has together with BSR built an experimental car, a rebuilt Toyota Prius. The car has been converted to an ethanol hybrid that can run on E85 fuel only, and it can also be charged directly via the electricity network. Besides the ethanol conversion, the car is equipped with lightweight wheels and ecological tires. The car is also lowered 30mm to reduce the air resistance and thereby reduce the fuel consumption.
St1 specifies the performance of the car in the form of its emitted fossil CO2 per kilometer. Today, the definition of an eco vehicle allows CO2 emissions of 120g/km maximum. Toyota Prius emits by its normal hybrid technique 89g CO2/km. When converting the car to St1´s ordinary E85 instead of petrol, the emissions are reduced to a low 45g CO2/km. And if the car is run on RE85, the emissions are cut by half to 22g CO2/km. By comparing these numbers with today´s requirements for a super eco vehicle of 50g CO2/km, it is easy to see the big potential of the concept.
Facts about the car