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Volt to use ethanol as well as electricity

Chemical companies, Economic growth, Oil markets
By Paul Hodges on 18-Feb-2010

Volt.jpgThe blog has been following the development of GM’s new all-electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, with interest, ever since Pedro Spohr of Galp in Portugal highlighted its potential to impact naphtha balances.

Of course, it won’t do this on its own – but GM’s adoption of the technology makes it essential for other manufacturers to follow suit.

The Volt’s launch is scheduled for next year, and now ICIS news reports that GM say it will run on E85 blend ethanol, as well as electricity. It is part of a trend that led BP’s CEO, Tony Hayward to forecast last week that gasoline consumption in the western world probably peaked in 2007.

This has to be good news for the chemical industry, over the medium and longer-term, as it means the competition with gasoline for oil-based feedstock supply will become easier.