Fuel of the Future

Cindy Zimmerman

This is an interesting story from the Land Down Under I found today while Googling around.
Take a bunch of old buggers, a 1925 Austin ragtop, a thousand litres of pure ethanol and what have you got? Queensland’s only entry in the 2005 Panasonic World Solar Challenge! This event, which has been running every two years since 1987, now attracts teams from all over Australia and around the world. It runs in late September, from Darwin to Adelaide, over about six days.
Team Ethanol, from Mackay, was entered in the Greenfleet Class, a recent innovation to showcase alternative fuel solutions, other than solar. It was one of 11 teams, which included electric, hybrid, bio-diesel, smart petrol and smart diesel cars and was the only ethanol powered entrant.

It’s a long story and worth reading – so here is the link to the whole thing.

The picture is the 1925 Austin ragtop from the story. Kinda reminds you of the Model T Ford – which Henry Ford originally built to run on what he called the “fuel of the future” … ethanol. I guess the future is finally here!

Check out Wikipedia’s entry about Ford and the Model T – some very interesting stuff there. For instance – in 1913, Ford attempted to enter a reworked Model T in the Indianapolis 500, but was told rules required the addition of another 1,000 pounds (450 kg) to the car before it could qualify. Ford dropped out of the race, and soon thereafter dropped out of racing permanently, citing dissatisfaction with the sport’s rules and the demands on his time by the now-booming production of the Model Ts.

Interestingly, this year all cars in the Indy 500 will run on 10 percent ethanol for the first time – and switch to 100 percent next year! And … there is a Team Ethanol car in the IRL, sponsored by our friends at EPIC. Last year was the first year the car was in the race – and you can expect to hear much more about it this year!

Ethanol, Miscellaneous