Swedish motorists turn to ethanol

Swedish motorists are increasingly turning green, choosing to run ethanol-driven cars. Last year the number of ethanol run cars on the road went up to 13,400 - an increase of 67%, according to according to Miljöfordon, an environmental organization based in Gothenburg.

With the government pushing for more environmental fuels, Statoil announced on Thursday that is to open up to 90 ethanol pumps (E85) at its petrol stations across Sweden. At present the company runs approximately 30 E85 pumps but tby the end of 2006 the company plans to have over 120 E85 pumps in operation.

In a press statement, Statoil claimed that the government’s proposal to force oil companies to offer more environmentally friendly fuels law “is completely unnecessary.” Ulf Svahn, a spokesman for Statoil, claimed market forces alone were pushing up the number of environmentally friendly ethanol pumps.

Statoil’s immediate strategy is to place the new E85 pumps in the major cities and along the main European highways.

Ethanol E85 (85% ethanol and 15% petrol) is produced for the increasing number of cars able to run on either E85 or regular petrol.

A further substantial increase in the number of ethanol-compliant cars is predicted this year with Ford, Saab and Volvo all expected to launch environmentally friendly models.