France's System U: Pas Plus D'E85!
Energy Business Review reports that French hypermarketeers System U are pulling the plug on their bio-ethanol pumps for one simple reason: no one's buying E85. Needless to say, critics of the critics who criticize E85– including the publication's "staff writer"– view the move as insupportable. "Plans to stop selling the fuel are being driven by a lack of consumer demand, perhaps because the French government has not yet developed a taxation system that offers sufficient incentives for motorists to purchase E85 vehicles." Zut alors! Meanwhile, System U has betrayed the farmer-friendly French government's best laid plans. "This marks a further setback for the French government, which had set an objective to open 500 E85 stations by the end of 2007, but has seen only approximately 200 installed to date." In Total? "French fuel retailer Total made an agreement with the French government through which it was to open 400 of the 500 planned E85 sites by the end of 2007. However, Total has only installed E85 pumps at 35 of its service stations." So who's the scélérat here? "By focusing tax benefits purely on tailpipe emissions, to the detriment of the fuel's carbon-positive effects, the government has been unable to provide an environment in which demand for E85 can flourish. 'End Intelliext." C'est la vérité, n'est-ce pas?
TO translate: the government hasn't sufficiently distorted the market's clear signal that ethanol is a useless fuel through byzantine taxation, regulation, and subsidy, in order to meet the demands of interest groups. Bullshit is bullshit, even (especially?) when it's connerie.
La voiture la est au Suede! That's like illustrating a story from India with a guy in California pumping gas! The best thing about E85 in Sweden is that you can buy a E85 car at a rebate, or have a E85 car as company car at a reduced monthly fee, and still just fill it with ordinary gasoline. Smart!
Fortunately France is not the future for E85. Locally, another station is installing E85 pumps this July. This will make a total of 3 within about a 10 mile radius of my house. Sometimes I think Auto-extremist and TTAC are stuck in a 1960's mindset. Auto-extremist thinks Pontiac is toast because it isn't building '60's style excitement. Hey, that's history. I like my Vibe, and time only moves in one direction: forward. TTAC thinks we can continue to power the world's cars on a finite amount of oil which is reaching peak production and is about to start a long decline. There will always be some oil but at an ever higher price. Cheap oil is in the past. We need alternative fuels or else the auto business will decline with the fortunes of oil. Today oil hit $123. How high will it have to go before we recognize we can't produce the same cars or fuel them the same as we did in the 1960s when gas was 28 cents/gallon? Those who refuse to change with the times will not survive. Isn't that what the Deathwatches are all about?