Australia, Canada, China, India, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, United Kingdom

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Saab Tests First Ethanol Car in Australia
A real-world demonstration program of the first ethanol production car in Australia, the Saab BioPower, ran in Queensland. Saab BioPower, an ethanol-powered version of the Saab 9-5 vehicle, can run on E85 (85 percent ethanol fuel) or petrol, in any combination, from one fuel tank. “Saab is currently a step ahead of the industry,” said Parveen Batish, Director of Saab Australia and New Zealand. “BioPower is a market-ready ethanol-powered vehicle that we want to launch in Australia as soon as possible.” Contact:

Canada Considers Biodiesel Requirements
Canada is considering a Clean Air Act that would see diesel fuel in Canada blended with a minimum of 2 percent renewable biodiesel by 2012. The measure also includes a mandate for a minimum of 5 percent ethanol in gasoline.

Chinese Automaker Plans Hydrogen-Fueled Demonstration Vehicle
Shen-Li High Tech Co., a private company in Shanghai, is manufacturing a hydrogen fuel cell demonstration vehicle. The company hopes to eventually produce hydrogen power for buses, taxis, and generators. According to Shen-Li High Tech Founder Hu Liging, the company’s aim is to find a way to economically mass-produce hydrogen-fueled systems. The company is considering a partnership with the state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. to produce the demonstration vehicles.

Indian Automakers Collaborate on Hithane Project
India’s Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Mahindra and Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, and Eicher Motors are teaming up on a project to create an optimal mix of hydrogen and compressed natural gas. The project seeks to develop the CNG-hydrogen mixture called Hithane for use in India’s existing on-road fleet of vehicles. The participating companies will provide seven different types of vehicles for the project. The three light commercial vehicles, two three-wheelers, a sports utility vehicle, and a passenger car will be the first tested on various blends of Hithane.

Survey: New Zealanders Switching to More Fuel-Efficient Vehicles
Nearly 78 percent of New Zealanders believe they need to make a lifestyle change to reduce global warming, including switching to more fuel-efficient vehicles, according to a recent poll from Herald-Digipoll. Roughly 39 percent of the 1,003 people surveyed said they have switched to more fuel-efficient vehicles. “There is definitely a trend towards people giving consideration to the cost of running a vehicle,” Albany Toyota Managing Director Andrew Mackenzie said. “They’re also thinking about what the vehicle has done to the environment in the past and what they can do to help the environment in the future.”

Peru Aims for ‘Agrarian Revolution’ with Ethanol Project
Peruvian President Alan Garcia said Friday that Peru will start an “agrarian revolution” with an ethanol plant project in Peru’s northern region of Piura. The project will initially produce roughly 40 million gallons of ethanol per year and 100 million gallons per year after five years. American company Maple will invest $100 million in the project. Contact:

Philippines Plans To Boost Sugarcane Production for Ethanol
The Philippine government plans to develop new areas for planting sugarcane in an effort to support ethanol production. “We should take advantage of the emerging global trend on the use of biofuels to sustain and further boost the robust growth of our agricultural sector,” Agricultural Secretary Arthur Yap said. Contact:

Taiwan University Unveils Fuel Cell Car
MingDao University in Taiwan has introduced its fourth generation fuel cell vehicle, according to published reports. The MHV-4 uses a fuel cell battery-operated engine that produces up to 5 kilowatts of power. Hydrogen-based fuel cell technology is being developed in Taiwan by the state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp. and the power company Taipower.

Welsh Investment Grant Supports Zero Emissions Vehicle Producer
Recent Welsh Assembly Investment Grants include support for a new venture to produce electric-powered vehicles aimed at buyers in urban areas where car parking fees are waived for zero emission vehicles or where free recharging is provided to electric vehicles. Stevens Vehicles Ltd. is a newly-launched enterprise and will be based at Cwmbran’s Forgehammer Industrial Estate, giving Wales a chance to be one of the first producers in the UK of zero-emission vehicles.

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