Car rental giant Avis is the first customer in Sweden to take delivery of Swedish premium brand Saab's new 'eco-friendly' 9-5 2.0t BioPower model, which cuts fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by running on bioethanol.
The delivery of the first batch of 200 cars was completed in August and Avis is to purchase a further 200 BioPowers in the autumn. The Avis cars are part of growing 2,500-strong BioPower order intake from Saab dealers in Sweden as customers queue up to enjoy the benefits of the new model.
Saab is leading the premium segment by offering a car that runs on bioethanol, a renewable fuel produced in Sweden and other countries from agricultural crops and forest by-products. Unlike petrol, the consumption of bioethanol does not raise atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, which research suggests is the 'greenhouse gas' that contributes to global warming. This is because the emissions released during driving are balanced by the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere when crops are grown for conversion to bioethanol.
Avis says that it was especially attracted by the user practicality of the 9-5 BioPower model, because it can also run on petrol, or any mixture of bioethanol and petrol up to a blend of 85 per cent, without adjustment. While the availability of E85 fuel (85 per cent ethanol/15 per cent petrol) at filling stations throughout Sweden is already widespread, the flexibility of the Saab 9-5 BioPower means that customers can still fill up with petrol if necessary.
"This is a very smart solution and we are delighted to offer a car that so conveniently meets the environmental needs of our customers, the majority of whom are business users," says Hans Larsson, Director of Procurement at Avis Sweden.
"The Saab 9-5 BioPower meets two key priorities for our company, environmental concern and safety," he explained.
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