An ethanol-fuelled Commodore will join Holden’s big car range in 2010, Holden managing director, Mark Reuss, announced this week
And he says Holden is working with US biofuel firm Coskata to develop a plant that manufactures ethanol from grass clippings, wood chips and household rubbish. Coskata already has an agreement with General Motors in America.
Reuss says Coskata makes its bio-fuels by using micro-organisms to break down waste and convert it to ethanol rather than by the more common conversion of food crops.
That’s in line with Holden’s wish to help develop a fuel using ethanol produced from non-edible plants which need 30 percent less water to grow.
Reuss says the E85-fuelled Commodores will be available with V6 and V8 engines and will be more powerful than current petrol versions, because E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent petrol, is higher octane.
He says Holden hopes announcing an ethanol-fuelled Commodore will trigger the expansion of ethanol to a countrywide network of filling stations.
Holden plans to reduce its vehicles’ dependence on imported oil by measures that include improving petrol and diesel vehicles’ fuel efficiency, replacing oil with Australian-made alternatives, introducing hybrid petrol-electric vehicles and marketing more LPG-fuelled models like the Commodore Ute pictured.
Reuss deflected questions about rumours that Holden will again market a four-cylinder Commodore. The last Holden four was in the late 1980s VN, though the brand has sold four-cylinder engined Commodore and Statesman models in Asia.