Swedish record for biofuel

January 19, 2007, 10:30 CET

Sales of Statoil’s E85 biofuel grew by 270% in Sweden last year compared with 2005, and this product is due to be available at 260 Swedish service stations by the end of 2007.

"Our commitment to renewable motor fuels is long term and an increasingly important part of our product portfolio,” says Helena Fornstedt, public affairs head at Svenska Statoil.

“As a result, we’ll be continuing to expand the number of sites with this fuel, which contains 85% ethanol and 15% petrol.”

Svenska Statoil’s stations sold 19.5 million litres of E85 in 2006, and 170 of its sites currently offer the product. Another 90 outlets will be added over the coming year.

“E85 achieved its breakthrough here in Sweden during 2006, allowing us to increase our sales threefold,” affirms Ms Fornstedt.

“Continued expansion during the coming year depends on the price picture for this fuel compared with conventional petrol and whether even more Swedes buy ‘environmental’ cars.”

Conventional vehicles cannot run on E85, which requires an engine specially designed for flexible-fuel operation.

A total of 36,711 of these environmental cars were purchased in Sweden during 2006, an increase of 156% from the year before and 13.5% of all newly-registered cars in the country.

Their proportion of new registrations in 2005 was only 5.2%, and the increase reflects the benefits offered to drivers of flex-fuel vehicles.

These include lower excise duties, free parking spaces and the waiving of road tolls.

“We want filling up with biofuel to remain an advantage, and hope the government will work to get the protective European toll on ethanol lifted as soon as possible,” says Ms Fornstedt.

Ethanol is a renewable fuel, and significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions when used instead of petrol. Five per cent of it is added to all 95 octane petrol sold in Sweden today.

“A low blend like this is the most efficient way of cutting carbon emissions,” says Ms Fornstedt. “We’ll accordingly increase the ethanol content in our petrol to 10% as quickly as we can.”