Swedish drivers turn to ethanol

Ethanol-based fuel E85 is becoming more popular among Swedish drivers, while sales of both petrol and diesel have declined slightly.

Sales of Flexifuel cars, which can be driven using either ethanol or petrol, are behind the increasing sales. The competitive price of E85 is also a reason, according to the Swedish Petroleum Institute (SPI).

Sales of E85 in June were 10,600 cubic metres, an increase of 71 percent compared to June 2006. Last month was the first time that sales of the fuel passed the 10,000 cubic metre mark. Sales of diesel fell by 1.4 percent in June, although so far this year sales of the fuel are up 3.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Petrol sales were down 5.1 percent in June this year compared to June 2006. Over the first six months of the year, sales of petrol were down 1.6 percent on the same period last year. Ulf Svahn, CEO of SPI, said the poor summer weather was part of the reason for the fall.