By on December 29, 2010

EU car owners will get a new kind of gasoline – whether they want it, or not. Most don’t want it. They get it anyway. While US-automakers sue to stop ethanol blends, an edict handed down from Brussels demands that Super has to contain 10 percent of ethanol. An alliance from Germany’s ADAC autoclub to Greenpeace says the new gasoline is a work of the devil, it is liable to ruin cars, and the environment.

The ADAC autoclub says that there are three million cars on Germany’s roads for which the new mix means certain death. “One fill-up is enough to do lasting damage to the engine,” said an ADAC spokesperson to Der Westen.

Environmentalists are also against it: “To fulfill the new quota, you need cultivated area the size of Belgium,” said Dietmar Oelliger of the Naturschutzbund Deutschland. “Converting forests and meadows into farmland creates significantly more CO2 than what will be saved later.”

Greenpeace calculated that the new edict will lead to 56 million tons of greenhouse gases. And they suspect that rain-forests will be uprooted to make room for the production of Brussels-mandated bio-fuel.

The Rhein-Zeitung is worried about something else: Money. The new “E10” fuel will probably cost more, and the car will use more, because the new fuel has a lower energy density.  Also, the fuel competes with other farm products. Says the Rhein-Zeitung: “Potato prices are going up, and even beer is supposed to get more expensive.”

This is where Germans usually draw the line.

Does everybody hate the stuff? No, the Verband der Deutschen Biokraftstoffindustrie loves it.

It’s the association of the German bio-fuel industry.

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20 Comments on “Bio-Fuel Boondoggle Hits Europe, Kills Cars...”


  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    This is politics over common sense and over science. Worse, it is a bureaucracy that has been empowered to dictate policies without consideration of diversities within different countries, markets and environments.

    This is obsolete 20th Century government centralization when we need 21st Century government decentralization.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    We should require a tag to be worn by every politician stating:  “I am here because I have no talent or ability, and the only courses I could pass in college were law and political “science”.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    It’s nice to know political stupidity is not unique to the US.  Clearly, in the US, ethanol-gasoline mixes are a handout to the corn lobby/farmers.
     
    Bertel, I’m curious as to what farming lobby group is pushing for this.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    In Alberta, Husky gas stations charge the same price for E10 90 octane fuel as other gas stations franchises do for 87 octane. That’s about 10% cheaper for near-premium fuel. Even the owners manuals for our cars say that 10% ethanol is fine.
     
    That’s enough to earn my business.

    • 0 avatar
      peekay

      Couple of points… ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, so they can use a lower grade of base fuel and boost the octane with ethanol.  So your “near premium” fuel is actually a lower grade than a non- E10 fuel.  Secondly, the E10 fuel will give you about 6% lower fuel economy, due to the lower energy density of ethanol compared to gasoline.
      Yes, my cars will run on E10, but I go out of my way to avoid it.  Here in BC it has been mandated in most grades of fuel, but thankfully there are still places that have non-E10 gas.

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      I avoid Husky after one partial fill-up with that crap. My Merc 400E’s  gas consumption was 15L/100 km insteas of its regular 11 and it was so much slower to pick up speed.
      Unless your vehicle is some sort of flex-fuel type – stay away.

    • 0 avatar
      beken

      Actually, that changed recently.   I can no longer fill my Premium drinking car with midgrade as Husky has aligned their gasoline octane ratings with the other stations around them now.
       
       

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    When the term “Green” is ludicrously out of control look no futher than political stupidity to make silly decisions to get there way. A good example is elimination of incadecent light bulbs. Hmmm lets destroy one of our few remaining industries and bring in something that costs 3 times as much, contains mercury and can potentially cause far more harm to the ground and environment than using slightly more energy. Makes perfect sense right? Lets hand our money to yet another China good and destroy more American jobs right? Idiots! A perfect case of the govenment is it’s own worst nightmare edition.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Bio fuels are energy inefficient in that it takes more bio fuel to go the same distance as regular fuel. Consequentially, vehicles on bio fuel produce more pollution going the same distance.

    Additionally, it takes a gallon and a half of regular fuel to create a gallon of bio fuel, so not only is bio fuel inefficient as an energy sources and creates more pollution, it also generates pollution from it’s production which wastes 50%.

    Bio fuel looked good politically, but as even Al Gore admitted this year, it is a problem, not a solution to our environment and to our energy needs.

    How long do you think it will take for our politicians to admit this huge and costly mistake to the point where we no longer are forced to use this crap, and pay for it?

    There is a mantra among environmentalists that prevent them from having an open mind regarding possible solutions or recognizing that events could take different courses from the ones they foresee. Now that they have found political power, they no longer have need to justify their views based on science. Instead they use the emotional roller-coaster of lies to implement their will regardless of science or societal will. Like the Puritans of old, they demand we return to the Garden of Eden regardless of reality.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      If blended in the right amount ethanol actually increases MPG over straight gas. Somewhere in the 40-50% range and my Taurus FFV gets it’s best MPG.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Well  well well welcome to our world.

  • avatar

    Wait a minute. We’ve pretty much had this in Phoenix since 2000. Given all the recent media coverage, it’s damn near impossible to find anything beyond sensationalist, wedge-issue rambling, but I did manage to find an article detailing how Maricopa county requires minimum 7% ethanol content during the winter.
     
    I’ve been living here just under a decade and can’t say I’ve noticed poor economy, power, or any fuel related issues as a result of the ethanol content. Given an inch, though, I know what happens if they mandate higher percentages.

    Fortunately, it’s still very affordable to revamp the fuel system and engine to accept high alcohol content. What are we talking, replace a couple lines and an ECU reflash? No problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      The fact that you didn’t notice the decreased performance produced by e10 doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I track the mileage of every tankful of every vehicle I drive. There’s a distinct, quantifiable loss of range/mpg when I’m forced to use e10 (which as a California resident is most of the time). Can’t say that I’ve noticed any power loss, but since I don’t have a dynomometer built into my butt that means nothing.
       
      Ironically, the vehicles which have fuel systems which are “very affordable” to adapt to ethanol blends are precisely the same ones which derive no benefit whatsoever from burning it. Get back to us on that “very affordable” CV carburetor rebuild.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    It’s got to be the right thing to do, the government said so, And to think we used to mock the old Soviet Union’s 5 year plans for their blindness to reality. 

  • avatar
    zeus01

    Here’s a particularly terrible thought:
    Even though it is now common knowledge (even among bureaucrats) that ethanol-blend fuels reduce fuel economy and power, cost more to produce, pollute more during production and do the square root of sweet bleep-all to reduce pollution from auto emissions, we will still be stuck with it. All levels of government are raking in gobs more in taxes thanks to the increased fuel consumed thanks to E-10′s lack of efficiency— and they don’t want this to change. I hope I’m wrong, but…

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I see a win win. The US sells its ethanol to Germany, now they have ethanol, we have foreign exchange and ethanol free gasoline.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    Converting food into car fuel is shortsighted stupidity Subsidisng the growing of corn to make fuel has to be the stupidest subsidy ever.

  • avatar
    2ronnies1cup

    I find it surprising to see so many Americans, blessed with the lowest gasoline price in the developed world, bellyaching about single-figure losses in fuel economy using E-blend fuels.

    I guess you must all have much lower incomes than the rest of the world has been led to believe.


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