The rising price and environmental impacts petrol is causing the need to rethink the fuel we use in our private cars and in our vehicle fleets. There are smart alternatives to petrol and diesel, and 100% biofuels are made of renewable material and don’t produce greenhouse gases as they don’t produce carbon dioxide. The less petroleum, the lower the emissions. Biofuels are made from sugars, starches, vegetable oils and animal fats.
The renewable energy substitute for petrol is bioeothanol which is ethyl alcohol, and production of it has more than doubled since 2000 in New Zealand. Ethanol is a renewable energy and is created using sunlight and organic material.
In New Zealand the by-product of milk whey is used, while around the world crops such as sugar are fermented in bioethanol production. A selling point of bioethanol is that compared to fossil fuels significantly less carbon is released into the atmosphere. Biofuels can be carbon neutral because the carbon released is balanced by what is absorbed by new growth. The Government has set a target of 3.4% of New Zealand's fuel consumption must be biofuel by 2012.
To be sold in New Zealand to motorists bioethanol is blended with petrol and while most vehicles can run on this mixture some older cars may need fuel system modifications. The fuel cannot be used for boats or aircraft.
In the North Island there is bioethanol is sold in some service stations in fuels some of which are as high as 85% bioethanol and 15% petrol.
Most modern vehicles can use bioethanol fuel, and a quick check with a mechanic or your vehicle manufacturer's website should provide certainty.