Alternative fuel cars from General Motors

The GM web site lists an impressive array of brands, most of which are not available in Australia. From an alternative fuel perspective we are obviously interested in Holden, Opel (sold in Australia under the Holden badge) and Saab as their cars are sold here in Australia.

According to the GM Alternative Fuels web site they are working on ethanol (E85), hybrids and fuel cells. All but one of the 13 vehicles currently available for purchase in the US are built to run on E85. The other is a hybrid. However, further reading of the GM Advanced Technology web pages reveals plans to build more than 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles with the intent of getting them on the road in 2007 to obtain customer feedback.

Opel are advertising their efforts in developing fuel cell and compressed natural gas (CNG) technology. To quote the Opel web site:

Opel and its parent company, General Motors, see the fuel cell as the key technology to eliminate exhaust gas emissions in automobiles.

While they are developing that technology it seems they are quite successfully backing CNG with the volume production of a 1.6L Zafira and 1.6L Astra that both run on CNG. Each model has a 14L gasoline reserve tank for those times when there are no CNG filling stations nearby.

It is no secret that Saab are backing E85 with the release of their much hyped BioPower cars. Part of the hype has seen Sir Richard Branson driving a BioPower car to promote the use of biofuels.

That leaves Holden. With all this technology available from within GM you’d think Holden could easily be an alternative fuel leader in Australia. Instead we get the ECOmmodore concept car and one billion dollars spent developing the latest petrol guzzling Commodore. No alternative fuel options from Holden for love or money.


2 Responses

  1. Hi;
    I am interested in publications regarding auto bio-fuels or any other alternative fuels for cars. So I was wondering if you have any electronic version of these kind of publications or not, and if I can subscribe for it. I do appreciate your help and consideration.
    Thanks and have a great time
    Best Regards
    Omid Ghadiri

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