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STOCKHOLM, Mar 23, 2006 -- AFX News - Europe

General Motors Corp's Swedish car unit, Saab Automobile is to showcase the world's first ethanol-electric hybrid car at next week's Stockholm car show, reported the online edition of Dagens Industri (DI).

Unlike the Toyota Prius which combines an electric motor with a petrol engine, Saab's hybrid will combine an electric motor with an E85 Ethanol engine.

Ethanol, or grain alcohol, is produced by fermenting biomass, usually corn. The ingredient emits no green house gases in itself, but when used in vehicles is blended in a mixture of 85 pct ethanol, and 15 pct unleaded petrol, hence the E85 name.

Saab has been developing the hybrid in conjunction with Lund Technical University in southern Sweden, and claims that whereas the Prius emits 104 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, its new E85 engine hybrid should emit just 15-20 grams.

Saab's chief executive Jan-Ake Jonsson declined to comment on when the company will start to produce and sell the the new hybrids.

"It's in our production plan but I don't want to say when it will be," said Jonsson.

However, DI said the most likely date is around 2010.



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Oh, if only GM weren't up to their necks in it. Saab look like they are trying hard to take this all very seriously despite GM. If they could develop a range of cars with frugality in CO2 emmissions, multifuel capability, including electric power, and a bit of , it could be "OMG we've broken even, soon it could be profit" time. This is where the market is going to be before long. Somebody please buy them and get investing, and beat the Japanese to the volume market.
 

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If it looks good, drives good and they actually get to make it - then this could be a real winner- but I am sure GM will screw it up somewhere! They will probably start putting it on Vauxhalls first!!
 
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