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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chevrolet HHR E85 Runs Ethanol

General Motors has significantly increased its brownie points as far as environmental lobbyists are concerned, by announcing a Chevrolet HHR SUV that runs on E85 FlexFuel too.

GM’s strategy on FlexFuel models has been to run a combination of 15 percent petrol/ gasoline and 85 percent ethanol. This marriage of fuels results in a saving of up to 23 percent in CO2 emissions as far as HHR is concerned. A number of countries, including Brasil, are already heavy on the use of ethanol as an alternative for gasoline/ petrol. SUVs have been the hardest hit in the battle against harmful gasses, so the HHR will be welcome.

The HHR will use two Ecotec engines, a 2.2-litre and a 2.4-litre, both of which can be run on E85. We are probably not at the state where E85 is a high-performance fuel yet, indeed the HHR is not likely to earn any speeding world records, but as the drag society already knows, the capabilities of ethanol as a performance-source cannot be questioned. So the future looks like this: cars that can think like humans, drink like humans (ethanol is pure alcohol) and talk like humans (K.I.T.T.)?

Press Release

The 2009 Chevrolet HHR small SUV will become the first four-cylinder model in General Motors Corp.'s North American lineup that can run on either gasoline or E85 ethanol.

GM North America President Troy Clarke unveiled the FlexFuel Chevy HHR today during a speech at the Midwest Automotive Media Association breakfast, which opened press days for the Chicago Auto Show.

"We will continue to make more of our lineup FlexFuel-capable because we believe ethanol, and specifically E85, is the best near-term answer to reduce our nation's dependence on oil as energy demand rises here and around the world," Clarke said.

"The focus needs to be on making E85 more available by developing cellulosic ethanol sources and dramatically increasing the number of stations that offer E85," he said.

GM is the auto industry leader in offering FlexFuel models - 11 for 2008 and more than 15 planned for 2009. The HHR, whose January sales of 9,650 were up 73 percent from the same month a year ago, will become the latest Chevrolet FlexFuel model when it goes on sale later this year. Chevrolet has more than 2 million of GM's more than 2.5 million FlexFuel vehicles on the road.

An HHR running on E85 - a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline - would emit up to 23 percent fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than if running on gasoline, based on a well-to-wheel analysis by the Argonne National Laboratory.

The HHR will be available with an Ecotec 2.2-liter or Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, both of which will be compatible with E85. For the first time, the Ecotec 2.2L is equipped with variable valve timing (VVT), technology that assures precise opening and closing of the valves and accurate control of combustion gases to improve engine performance and efficiency. The Ecotec 2.4L continues to offer VVT.

Related entries:

1934 FlexFuel Chevy Hot Rod at SEMA


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