web analytics

Biofuel stars at Taupo (and we win)

Written By: - Date published: 1:43 pm, January 22nd, 2008 - 10 comments
Categories: news - Tags: ,

696367.jpgCongratultions to Jonny Reid for his win in the Taupo A1GP sprint race on Sunday.

He also managed to finish fourth in the feature race which gives the NZ team the series lead.

What was also a world first is that all of the teams competing took to the track with 30% biofuel in their tanks.

As reported by The Herald:

A1GP’s new fuel, an ethanol-based product called Hiperflo E30, is sourced from sugar beet in Europe and produced specifically for A1GP.

Developed in partnership with Zytek, the engine maker for the series, the fuel will reduce CO2 emissions by 21 per cent per car based on a wheel-to-wheel calculation. The introduction of E30 was delayed from the start of the season, making Taupo the first A1GP event powered by biofuel.

10 comments on “Biofuel stars at Taupo (and we win) ”

  1. Phil 1

    It’s great to see Kiwi’s punching above their weight!

    Colin Giltrap has put together a fantastic team, and they deserve a lot bigger profile than they get. I’ve always thought that NZ’s support of motorsport (especially McLarenF1) should be up there with the level of mania exhibited by Italians toward Ferrari.

    Speaking of Ferrari, A1 are switching from Zytek to Ferrari V8’s at the end of this season, so I suspect that biofuel will be short-lived in the series. Good on them for giving it a crack though.

  2. insider 2

    yeah great.

    It costs more, gets lower fuel efficiency, and may actually increase emissions if gained from farmed crops. But hey it makes a great photo op for the so called sustainability crowd.

  3. Mason Clinic 3

    I am not well

    [Tane: I know you’re not Dad, so stop posting as other people]

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    insider, I understand the efficiency loss due to bio-enthanol (but I don’t think that’s likely in a racing situation) but it is unlikely to increase emmissions that count.

    Fossil fuels are what I call deep-cycle (I think it may be the common term) – they’re in the ground for millions of years and sequester billions of tonnes of carbon in that way. Once released, well, it’s in the atmosphere for good (in our timescale, perhaps not in a geological sense of time but that’s not relevant to an approx. 6,000 year old civilisation).

    Bio-fuels are from shallow-cycle carbon – it was in the air, it goes back into the plant as the crop grows, and is then released back into the air during combustion. Not it’s far from perfect – the carbon used to grow the damn crops, not to mention the deforestation that is occuring world-wide make for some posers that I wouldn’t expect the A1GP to face. However the carbon cost of oil production isn’t small either.

    The upshot is, they’re supporting an initiative that is of a sum benefit. Think of it this way – with fossil fuels, 100% of the carbon is ‘new’ to the atmosphere. With bio-fuels, all of the carbon has been taken out of the atmosphere and is being returned.

    Sustainable – not quite, but better than the alternative!

  5. insider 5


    The answer is yes and no and it depends. There has been a lot of debate over bioethanol particularly. No problem with ‘waste’ products that are converted. I think the well to wheels savings are pretty clear.

    A lot of the issue comes down to the farmed fuels and the inputs used or assumptions. You can get very different numbers for corn ethanol from the states/europe than from NZ because of the relative intensity of farming practices. In NZ we use much less energy and much of our electricity is renewable. That isn;t the norm for the big biofuel countries (except Brazil) so you still ahve the deep carbon of coal, oil or gas being asignificant factor. I’ve seen some analyses where the balance moves from negative to positive based on whether you use the leftover bagasse or straw as heat inputs to the fuel making process. That is a pretty fine balance.

    I think the answer is it is not quite as simple as some local politicians would make out.

    It is going to be interesting this year to see how the oil industry copes with biofuel targets. The problem we are going to have in NZ is if the govt tries to restrict imports on sustainability grounds. It will just cut our noses off to spite our faces because it will restrict options which will further increase the cost of an expensive fuel.

  6. Askewed 6

    What was even more impressive was that our local Toyota Racing Series (which also featured at the taupo event) is now using fuel that is 85 per cent biofuel – which apparently comes from Fonterra’s wey.

  7. oldsalt 7

    And without motor racing the world would be a better place.
    No glorification of speed.
    No driving without conveyance.
    One less bastion of “winning”

  8. Outofbed 8

    Just can’t get excited by Motor racing ( watching)

  9. Phil 9

    Ah, yes, no talk of motoring can ever be complete without someone getting in a dig at the wastefulness and glorification of speed…

    Well, it may come as a surprise, but I actually agree. Motorsport, as an industry, needs to take responsibility for the impact it has on the world. It needs to stand up and say;

    “We are to blame for the exponential increase in safety standards on modern road cars, that save thousands of lives each year. We are at fault for the technological improvements that make the engine in your four door-sedan more fuel efficient, the improvement in aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle body, and the advancement of tyre technology, that saves the world millions of gallons of petroleum.”

    Gosh, if only they would take responsibility for all that wastefullness. Yes, without that competitive instinct to ‘win’ we would all be so much better off.

  10. PM 10

    To the hollow men and women behind the standard:

    Can I ask, do you think it would be inappropriate or unethical if people employed by a union were to run an anonymous blog and on that blog make a post about how someone high up in that union (eg the union’s president) was standing for a political nomination, together with a glowing recommendation (eg “.I’ve got to say I was taken by his level-headedness and the way he’d think before passing comment on anything – definitely a safe pair of hands”) while passing themselves off as independent commentators – all the while refusing to disclose that they worked for that union and hence had a vested interest?

    Not saying that that’s what you’ve done, of course. Just asking whether you believe that would be inappropriate or unethical? Simple question, really. A “yes” or “no” answer would suffice.

    Having asked the question, however, your refusal to deny that staff of EPMU are behind this blog really make these sorts of posts a bit suspicious:

    Pryde of the South

    Of course you could remove all suspicion by simply denying that anyone who posts on this blog is employed by said union.

    Simply, really. Yet no denial. Why wouldn’t you deny it if it wasn’t true?

    Hopefully you’re starting to see why disclosure statements are so important.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago