E85 Boondoggle of the Day: Wherever The People Are As Green As The Money

e85 boondoggle of the day wherever the people are as green as the money

As bailout after bailout sucks the federal teat dry, the ethanol lobby is finally doing the patriotic thing by taking its insatiable greed for public money to China. Green Car Congress reports that General Motors and its cellulosic ethanol partner Coskata are making the pitch for US-style ethanol subsidies in the Happy Shiny Peoples Republic Of China. At the World Biofuel Symposium hosted by Beijing’s Tsinghua University, GM and Coskata announced that China could produce 45-49 billion gallons per year (BGPY) of cellulosic biofuels by 2030… with the proper subsidies. And though the 45-49 BGPY would be 60% derived from agricultural residue, 20% from grasses, 10% from forest residue and 10% from “other,” China’s capacity is estimated (by GM and Coskata) at only half that amount without government incentives. E10 mandates in several of China’s largest provinces have already increased grain-based ethanol production from 100 million gallons in 2004 to about 500 million in 2008, but the Chinese government is also trying to limit grain-based production for all of the obvious reasons. Hence GM and Coskata’s attempts to hype their cellulosic ethanol approach, despite not having plans to open a commercial demonstrator plant before 2011. Meanwhile, “GM will continue to advance its strategy of ‘in China, with China, for China‘ to help China develop diverse automotive energy solutions and commercialize such energy solutions, according to GM China VP David Chen. All we can say to China is, beware of Americans bearing biofuels and patriotism. Then again, better you than us. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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  • Master Baiter I like the references to Red Barchetta. My fun car is a spiritual cousin to this Miata: 2001 BMW M Roadster--green with tan leather; five speed.
  • Arthur Dailey I believe that removing the screen from the instrument panel would greatly improve the looks of the interior. What of the Recaro seats? Any that I have tried have been too narrow across the back. Have they 'modified' them to fit North American drivers?
  • Cprescott IIHS has to stay relevant by changing the rules in mid-stream and then it gets to falsely claim a car is unsafe. Point of fact that most vehicles on the road passed the pre-existing test and that IIHS should only test NEW products to the new test and to let the current models alone. The clown who used to be the face of IIHS was an arrogant little troll who loved to get face time for his arbitrary changes that he imposed.I understand things change, but an ethical organization would have a set name for a test and when the test changed, so would the name and the new test could not be imposed upon a vehicle it already tested with the old one. The manufacturer could point to the prior passed test and that would have been ethical. I'm surprised that IIHS hasn't gone back years to show how the new standard would have failed all current vehicles ever made - the cars didn't get less safe, but the test would make you think so.
  • Arthur Dailey Nearly a decade since Suzuki withdrew from the N.A. markets? Seems like just yesterday. They did make some 'decent' cars for the budget conscious. The Sidekick, Vitara and Grand Vitara all being favourites among my friends/colleagues from the former Soviet Union. They respect the simplicity and versatility of these vehicles. Particularly when they have the traditional body on frame structure.
  • Arthur Dailey Had a 210 'Sunny', 2-door. It was a base model with zero options (for example a rubber floor without any carpeting), that we used as a courier style vehicle. It took all kinds of aggravation/bad treatment, received only minimal maintenance and never once complained or let us down.