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GM's New Focus: Ethanol + California

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  • Felix Kramer
    Below is GM s very promising announcement to be released today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It s encouraging that this plan addresses both more E85-capable
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2006
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      Below is GM's very promising announcement to be released today at the Los
      Angeles Auto Show. It's encouraging that this plan addresses both more
      E85-capable cars and more fueling stations, since auto makers get fleet MPG
      credits for building" flex-fuel" vehicles (FFVs) -- but unless we have
      places to fuel them, it's a symbolic gesture

      Note that the project with Pacific Ethanol is for corn-based ethanol
      supplies (a good start). Below this news release is information on GM's
      joint efforts with Canadian company Iogen to promote cellulosic ethanol,
      which is far more beneficial from both energy efficiency and carbon
      emissions standpoints.

      Auto-makers' increasing commitment to E85 will mean much more once they
      also embrace the other opportunity: powering most of the driving miles from
      electricity in plug-in hybrids. When that happens, what is now a primary
      fuel becomes a "range extender" fuel -- and, of course, we'll need far less

      Concerning the nation's 400 existing E85 stations, most are (nor
      surprisingly) in the Corn Belt.
      Searches at http://www.e85fuel.com/database/search.php or
      show one public station in CA: the Regional Transportation Center in San
      Diego. That's why,
      One place to track developments in commercializing ethanol is

      GM Joins State of California, Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, and Pacific
      Ethanol to Help Investigate Ethanol as Alternative, Renewable Fuel

      State Endorses E85; GM offers vehicles; Chevron Technology Ventures LLC
      provides blending and dispensing; Pacific Ethanol provides ethanol

      LOS ANGELES -- General Motors will help lead a joint demonstration project
      along with the state of California, Chevron Technology Ventures, and
      Pacific Ethanol to learn more about consumer awareness and acceptance of
      E85 as a motor vehicle fuel by demonstrating its use in GM's flexible-fuel
      vehicles. The announcement was made as a result of a non-binding
      understanding made public today at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

      GM intends to offer between 50 to 100 of its E85-capable Chevrolet Impala
      passenger cars and Silverado pickup trucks for consideration in the state's
      annual competitive bid process. Flexible-fuel vehicles will be used by
      the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) at various
      operations in Northern California and the state's Central Valley. Chevron
      Technology Ventures intends to work with CalTrans to provide E85 fuel and
      install the necessary refueling pumps in these locations. Pacific Ethanol,
      a California-based ethanol production and marketing company, intends to
      provide the ethanol to Chevron Technology Ventures for the project.

      Since California currently imports more than half of its crude oil, it has
      become a statewide priority to develop and grow diverse energy
      sources. The ethanol project is designed to explore the merits of E85 to
      help meet that goal, and its potential to meet and exceed California's high
      standards for fuel quality and environmental emissions.

      "Governor Schwarzenegger strongly supports the development of alternative
      fuels to improve California's air quality, reduce CO2 emissions, and
      achieve energy independence," said Cal/EPA Secretary Alan C. Lloyd. "This
      demonstration program involving E-85 fuel technology insures that
      California will continue to play a leading role in protecting the
      environment and public health."

      Although somewhat lower in energy content, ethanol delivers similar
      performance as regular gasoline and is a renewable, domestically-produced
      fuel. E85, a blend of 85 percent ethyl alcohol and 15 percent gasoline, is
      produced from the starch and sugar in agricultural products, primarily
      domestically-produced corn.

      "Chevron is exploring a variety of energy sources, including ethanol," said
      Greg Vesey, president, Chevron Technology Ventures. "We expect this effort
      will help us learn more about consumer acceptance of E85 as well as issues
      surrounding its production and distribution."

      For GM, this collaboration with the state of California is an important
      first step in helping create and grow an E85 refueling infrastructure for
      its E85-capable vehicles currently on the road and in showrooms, according
      to Elizabeth A. Lowery, GM's vice president of environment and energy.

      "We are delighted to work with California, Chevron Technology Ventures, and
      Pacific Ethanol on this important campaign and we commend the state of
      California for its leadership," Lowery said. "GM will continue to work to
      promote the increased use of E85 through partnerships that demonstrate the
      many benefits that E85 and a diverse energy supply has for the environment,
      the economy and consumers."

      Pacific Ethanol is constructing a large scale ethanol facility in Madera,
      Calif., and has plans to build four ethanol plants in the state during the
      next two years, according to Bill Jones, Pacific Ethanol's Chairman.

      "Each plant will create more than 700 new jobs in California, and infuse
      more than $100 million in capital into the local economy," Jones
      said. "E85 can help increase the amount of renewable fuel already used in
      California. Pacific Ethanol is pleased to be a part of the work, and looks
      forward to helping supply more and more ethanol for the state."

      GM has made a major commitment to E85 flexible fuel vehicles in the United
      States, with 1.5 million of these vehicles on the road today. GM approved
      the use of 10 percent ethanol blended gasoline in all GM products more than
      20 years ago, and produces almost five million E10 capable vehicles annually.

      For the 2006 model year, GM offers nine E85 flexible fuel vehicles,
      including the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon XL,
      Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Impala, and
      the Chevrolet Monte Carlo. In Europe, the GM-owned Saab brand is making
      significant headway with the E85-fueled Saab 9-5 BioPower, which is now
      available to consumers in Sweden and Germany. A 310 hp concept version of
      the 9-5 BioPower debuted at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show to illustrate
      how Saab might extend this initiative to the United States.

      GM's E85 vehicles are capable of operating on either gasoline or 85 percent
      ethanol without any additional modifications, aftermarket conversions, or
      cumbersome switches for vehicle users. Currently, there are more than 400
      public E85 fueling sites in operation across the nation.

      In addition to producing E85 flexible fuel vehicles, GM has also partnered
      with the Governors' Ethanol Coalition (GEC), a bipartisan group of
      governors devoted to the promotion and increased use of ethanol. This
      collaborative effort is designed to increase awareness of ethanol and
      flexible fuel vehicles, and to promote the increased use of E85 as a
      renewable, alternative transportation fuel that is able to meet the demands
      of today's drivers.

      More information on GM's alternative fuel product offerings can be found at

      General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer,
      employs about 323,000 people globally. Founded in 1908, GM has been the
      global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM today has manufacturing
      operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 192 countries. In
      2004, GM sold nearly 9 million cars and trucks, up 4 percent and the
      second-highest total in the company's history. GM's global headquarters are
      at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM, its
      advanced technologies and environmental initiatives can be found on the
      company's corporate website at www.gmability.com.

      Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation,
      identifies, develops and commercializes emerging technologies and new
      energy systems. These include investments for hydrogen-related
      technologies, advanced energy storage technologies, renewable energy and
      nanotechnology. Technology Ventures is headquartered in Houston,
      Texas. More information about Chevron Technology Ventures can be found at


      Dave Barthmuss
      General Motors

      Jerry Martin
      California Air Resources Board

      Kim Copelin
      Chevron Technology Ventures

      Tom Koehler
      Pacific Ethanol

      Christine Milligan
      Mullen Public Relations


      Iogen and General Motors "Green" UN Climate Change Conference in Montreal

      MONTREAL, Nov. 25,2005 - Twelve Canadian-built ethanol flex fuel Chevrolet
      Impalas, fueled with Iogen's cellulose ethanol, will shuttle conference
      delegates of the U.N. 11th Conference of Parties Framework Convention on
      Climate Change held in Montreal from November 28th to December 9th.

      The flex fuel Chevrolet Impala is capable of running on fuels blended with
      up to 85% ethanol. Michael Grimaldi, President of GM, stated, "We are proud
      to provide the Climate Change Conference participants from around the globe
      with Canadian built cars powered by Canadian made cellulose ethanol. With
      this fuel, the Chevrolet Impala has a net CO2 footprint that is less than
      any vehicle sold by any automaker in North America."

      The joint effort between the Government of Canada, General Motors and Iogen
      is a prime opportunity to showcase recent innovations in advanced vehicle
      technology, alternative fuel technology and Canada's commitment to its
      Kyoto Climate Change Plan.

      The Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Natural Resources stated, "I am pleased
      to see GM's auto industry leadership, in showcasing a full size sedan with
      this ultra low CO2 emissions capability at the COP 11 conference."

      "This demonstrates the extraordinary environmental potential of combining
      advanced vehicle and fuel technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,"
      said the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry. "This is a
      great example of how Canadian business has risen to the challenge of
      reducing emissions through innovation and environmentally sound technology
      and the Government of Canada is proud to partner with them on such

      Canadian-based Iogen Corporation is providing 4,000 litres of its fuel to
      be used in the vehicles during the Conference. Cellulose ethanol is made
      from agricultural residues such as cereal straws and corn stover. "Iogen is
      pleased to demonstrate firsthand to UN delegates that cellulose ethanol is
      ready to go," says Jeff Passmore, Executive Vice President, Iogen
      Corporation. "By using straw to make this low CO2 fuel, we are reducing
      gasoline consumption and GHG emissions without altering our mobility or
      ability to travel," says Passmore.

      GM has been working with the government of Ontario and the Federal
      government and the fuel industry in the promotion of this vehicle
      technology in an effort to improve the availability of ethanol based fuels
      in Canada. GM is the largest producer of ethanol powered flexible fuel
      vehicles (capable of running on gasoline blends containing up to 85%
      Ethanol (E-85)) with over 1.1 million vehicles on the road in North America.

      Headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario, General Motors of Canada employs more
      than 20,000 people nationwide. GM of Canada manufactures a variety of
      vehicles, engines, transmissions and other components, and markets the full
      range of General Motors' vehicles and related services through over 785
      dealerships and retailers across Canada. Vehicles sold through this network
      include Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Hummer, Saturn, and Saab.

      Iogen is a leading biotechnology firm specializing in cellulose based
      ethanol - an advanced, renewable transportation fuel made from agricultural
      residue that can be used in today's cars. The Company also develops,
      manufactures and markets enzymes used to modify and improve the processing
      of natural fibers within the textile, animal feed, and pulp and paper
      industries. In operation since 1974, Iogen is a privately held company
      located in Ottawa, Canada. For more information, visit www.Iogen.ca.

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
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