Not a blog just for old white men

You are the enemy these days. The old white men blamed for everything. It starts with climate change, extends to gender-sensitive asterisks, and generally all injustices in the world. Sure, if you're over 50 and read a blog about old combustion engines, you're under general suspicion of belonging to them. To the old white men. Bad! But there is hope!

Saab BioPower 100 Concept
Saab BioPower 100 Concept

Of course, it's primarily about old cars. To consider them to be sustainable alone can be uncomfortable for one or the other guest reader. An opinion against the mainstream; a side that does not work off the applause for electromobility. To make matters worse, there is lively reading, commenting and discussion here. So an asylum for old white men?

It's not that bad.

Actually, we are here in good, old Saab tradition. A little old school maybe, which is also due to my age - but is also typical Saab again. Because at Saab in Trollhättan, as a poor company, you simply had to hold on to many things. And used the available funds to drive innovation.

Let's talk about alternative fuels.

Some ideas at Saab are still shockingly current. There were the alternative fuels that were thought to be a good idea. In principle, a Saab engine has always been a multi-fuel engine. The military know this expression. You pour a halfway flammable broth into the tank - and the engine runs. At Saab it was no different because of the Trionic. Everything that ignites works. For the BioPower concept, only the periphery in the form of cables and seals had to be changed. The innovation was done.

100% vegetable fuel
100% vegetable fuel

One of the last Saab ideas was the BioPower 100 Concept. 100% vegetable fuel in the tank. The initial spark had to come from fossil fuel, but then the Saab ran 100% on plant-based energy. That was a long time ago and is almost forgotten. Now, of all times, when the world needs a rapid reduction in CO2 emissions, nobody is looking at the ideas from back then.

Why is that? In Sweden, diesel is offered under the designation HVO 100, which is obtained from industrial waste. It is sustainable, a contribution to the rapid reduction of C02 emissions. There is no such thing in Germany; there is no alternative to electromobility. The bad diesel, powered by sustainable fuel, could have a future.

Let's talk about electric cars.

It seems like a law of nature that electric cars have to be big and heavy. Lots of range, large batteries that require a lot of resources. Does it really have to be, or is there a smarter way to do it? The Saab ePower concept relied on small batteries, which were placed in the center tunnel. Small batteries mean low resource consumption, and there is no additional cooling system. Instead, an existing system for cooling the batteries was used with the automatic air conditioning. A simple construction with little weight.

Unfortunately, it remains to be seen whether there would have been any chances on the market.

But there are clever solutions. Without monster batteries, without wasting resources. You just have to look for it. Then you will find smart, sustainable electromobility. Like the Sion from Sono Motors, which will hopefully roll off the production line in Trollhättan next year. But there are more alternatives, and some are really appetizing.

All of this is interesting. A topic for old white men who could get angry reading and thinking about the alternatives they didn't use. Smart electric cars, far from the mainstream, and alternative fuels are topics that should interest us. Must be interested! In a loose order, entertainingly packaged. In the next days and weeks on the blog of the old white men who are more interested than just antique burners.

8 thoughts on "Not a blog just for old white men"

  • I still regret that the E85 would be returned to different countries.
    At that time I had the brand new Saab 9-5 NG, Biopower, and could drive this fuel in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France (also in Scandinavia, but I didn't come there that often).
    In Holland and Belgium there was never an offer from E85.
    The Saab drove so well with the E85 that I just installed an app to find stations that this E85 would have on offer.
    I drove a lot of kilometers with the E85 in the tank. That was good for the climate and for my wallet.
    But then Germany chopped off, then Austria, leaving only France and Switzerland at that time
    stayed.
    Unfortunately this limited the possibilities to use the BioPower.
    Saab has again brought a wonderful advantage in the market, but many items have smashed this again.

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  • Like so many others, I mourn the BioPower. In Austria, the fuel was produced and sold by the Raiffeisen Cooperative's own production facility (Genol petrol stations). Singing and soundless this fuel was turned off. Populist claims that soy from Brazil was used for it and that this is ecological madness (CO2 imprint). Which, in truth, was not true at all. Wood chip waste, etc. were used. I complained to Genol myself and wanted to know why it was discontinued? Answer: You can drive on with petrol anyway! (sic!). There was not even a shrug of the shoulders on the part of politicians (Greens).
    You just have to know here in Austria that the OMV (largest refinery) is state-owned and that fossil fuels put a lot of money into the treasury of the finance minister. And e-cars are now the only savior ...

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  • There is a lot going in the wrong direction. Conventional combustion engines, which are now being produced, will drive around here for another 15 years. Then probably another 10 years (maybe more) somewhere in Africa or in the east.
    If one were serious about the climate change, one would have to bring accordingly climate-neutral fuels onto the market now, which can gain acceptance on a broad basis. After all, what good is it if electric cars are rolling here, in 10 years a great many, but a few 1000 kilometers further, fossil energy will be burned. Or is the earth flat after all?

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  • Well, I assume that the blog not only has old (white? The skin color should luckily not be recorded) men, but also (old?) Women (like me) as readers, as well as hopefully some younger people of both sexes - so that this new blanket condemnation does not fit. Are there any user statistics?

    In terms of content, this blanket degradation fits (with “old white men” you can't and don't even have to discuss it as an oh-so-modern pluralistic society - which is precisely the evidence for a lack of plurality) for self-confessed SUV and “bigger, fatter, heavier” ones Rejectors ”not anyway. And we also know that almost everyone here mourns the ingenious Saab BioPower, which was simple, ingenious and efficient. In other words, a forum that dares to discuss alternatives and completely different perspectives in a differentiated manner - as uncritically parroting the constantly pre-chewed and propagated “alternative, simple, one way solutions”. This is likely to be the opposite of what is now commonly propagated as the "old white men" attitude.

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  • @ Black Swede: yes, unfortunately, the discussions are held here ideologically. For the engineer (per se the incarnation of an old white man) facts and figures count. We afford masses of wind turbines and solar panels to give away the electricity abroad at peak times because we have no storage facilities. We have a gas pipeline laid through the Baltic Sea in order to have a bridge energy carrier. At the same time, the consequences are always ignored. Like the dispute with the USA about the pipeline, the lack of gypsum from the flue gas desulphurisation after the coal-fired power stations were shut down, the electricity we get from our neighbors' nuclear and coal-fired power stations, the overloading of the networks at peak load times and and and ....
    Bridge technologies other than natural gas, such as E85, LPG, trolleybuses, trams and railway lines in rural areas will be abolished, taxed more heavily or not taken into account. Unfortunately, there is often a lack of the expertise of the old white tubs (and women too, by the way). Which, by the way, I mostly see in honorary positions and less at demos with loud screeching!

    My sports friend (old white man and engineer) calculated and checked. First, the solar system with buffer storage was placed on the roof of the house (the storage in the house), then various electric cars were test-driven, now the ID-3 comes with the smallest battery for driving to work (there can also be charged) and at the same time the Charging station in the home garage with connection to the solar system. Since both are working, there is a second conventional car for vacation and work trips. When I recently sent him an E-Auto critical report from the WDR, he said that someone has to start with the new things so that they can move forward. I think his plan and attitude are ok, and if there were new SAABs with e-drive we would certainly be there too.
    For example, with LPG in the company car, I use an undesired bridging technology and look jealously at what is happening on the market. I would be interested in how they would have done it at SAAB. Under GM, SAAB would have become part of the rolling course to be observed. As a poor, small independent manufacturer, it would have been exciting, because, as is well known, necessity makes inventive.

    And without old wise men we would probably still be riding horses, I'm proud to be an old white man!

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  • Pigeonhole thinking

    It is terrible how quickly and under what auspices you get stuck in one or the other ...

    It is enough to criticize German politics and its omissions in terms of waste recycling and alternative fuels and ZACK opens a drawer and you are sorted in and out.

    Be it as a denier of climate change, as an aluminum hat wearer, conspiracy theorist or an old white man ...

    My eldest (an old white man of 14 years) sent me a photo yesterday showing a charging station for EVs that was powered by a diesel generator and run on fossil fuels.

    How do I explain to him now that it makes sense and that there is no alternative? He's not stupid.

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  • The Swedes are doing really well. From Bosch there is CARE Diesel, which has a better carbon footprint than fossil diesel. Unfortunately, this alternative is still being denied approval in Germany. Why is that like that?

    Are the discussions here in the country only conducted ideologically?

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    • Hydrogenated vegetable oils

      Thank you, old white Swede. I didn't even know CARE. Interesting process.

      Admission in Germany?
      I could imagine that alternative fuels have a harder time with us, less ideologically than much more fiscally. The end for E85 was at least so forced.

      The state is apparently not prepared to forego mineral oil taxes and CO2 taxes.

      If I were a journalist in the relevant resort, I would have the following research approved by the editor-in-chief:
      To check the state's interest in mineral oil and electricity to see whether it follows a financial and fiscal logic in which alternatives - as sensible as they may be from an environmental point of view - have no place for budgetary considerations alone.

      I could well imagine it hanging right here. Under the heading of climate and environmental protection, we have created a tax burden that is unprecedented.

      Alternatives that are free of mineral oil, CO2-neutral and not part of the electricity industry might make sense in terms of environmental policy, but are probably the devil's stuff in terms of budgetary policy.

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