Chevrolet Thailand gave us a look at their Colorado CNG at the Bangkok International Motor Show that ended on Sunday. Chevrolet already has a factory equipped CNG version of the Optra sedan and estate on the market, and this CNG version of Chevrolet's one-ton pick-up has been on the cards for a few years now.
Read on for more information and pictures from the show...
TMT has confirmed that it will have a bi-fuel version of the 10th generation Corolla Altis by the end of 2008. The car will retain its regular E20 fuel system and tank, adding to it a CNG (compressed natural gas) system with a 70-litre tank in the boot. As with current Taxi conversions this will result in about 1/4 - 1/3 reduction in boot space.
The tank will also increase the weight of the vehicle by around 100 kg, and Toyota will replace the rear coils springs with stiffer coils from the Corolla wagon which is around the same weight as this CNG version.
General Motors (GM) Thailand Ltd has announced biodiesel compatibility for all Chevrolet diesel vehicles in Thailand. In effect this means that the diesel version of the Captiva and the Colorado pick-up truck are both capable of using B2 and B5 biodiesel without any problems.
According to a press release from GM Thailand, using the B2 and B5 fuels will not cause any harmful or damaging effects to the engines, and that the engines "will retain both the powerful performance and cost efficiency that owners have come to expect from Chevy diesel powerplants."
No, bkkAutos.com is not shifting focus to pick-up trucks, although the last several stories have been related to pick-up trucks! There is just more news about the truck market at the moment. Mazda have just launched the update to their BT-50 with highlights including a new suspension set up that apparently allows the Mazda BT-50 to fly, and engines that are compatible with B5 biodiesel.
Full details and more images follow:
Mazda have completed their BT-50 bio-diesel B2 and B5 test and have posted a press release which declares the success of the test. I have included the full press release below, but I would like to point out a few things that had me wondering.
Mazda are currently touring Thailand in a couple of BT-50 pickup trucks. They are going to complete a trip of over 10,000 km to show that the BT-50 can run on the new B2 and B5 fuels with no adverse affects. I'll be interested in seeing the results of this test, even though I think 10,000 km is probably not enough to convince anybody that there are no adverse effects of the fuel. Further, this fuel is 98% and 95% regular diesel anyway.
I'd be particularly interested in the fuel consumption figures for the trip. Also, this test will also be equivalent to a Ford Ranger test, since they share the same power units. I would love for this to be a B100 test though, but that will come.
On 1 January this year E20 was officially made available, and a Ford Focus was the first vehicle to fill up on the latest step on the way to lowering Thailand's reliance on oil. Following the Thai Government reducing the tax on new cars capable of using E20 by 5%, there has been a wave of manufacturers announcing compliance with E20, allowing them to reduce the cost of these vehicles.
The thinking is that this will stimulate growth in the industry this year, after the disappointing drop in 2007. And this might well work. E20 is a big news item at the moment, and they hype is being seized on by manufacturers to promote their vehicles. But what about the consumer? Is E20 really good for us? Yes and ........
The 2008 Toyota Corolla Altis is going to land in showrooms any day now. Although details are still not officially released, there are some banners on display outside some Toyota dealers. One of these showed the "E20" logo next to the Altis, so I assume that means that the new Altis will be E20 compatible, and this should translate into a reduction in price compared to the outgoing model.
Apart from that, it will obviously lead to cheaper running costs give then lower price of E20 fuel.
More details on the new Altis soon!
PTT, Thailand's biggest fuel supplier, has posted pricing for E20, the newest over-hyped fuel on the Thai market. The good news for all those with an E20 capable car is that it is cheap! At the time of writing (see the date/time stamp on the top of the post), E20 is THB 27.29 a litre a full 6 baht cheaper than regular 95 octane fuel and 2 baht a litre cheaper than Gasahol 95. It is also 1.20 baht cheaper than Gasahol 91!
So if you invested a load of money in a Ford Focus all those years ago, you'll finally be able to take advantage of lower fuel prices.
Nissan are not exactly racking up the sales in Thailand, and with a mere 40,000 units sold in the Kingdom in 2007, Nissan will be hoping that 2008 will be a better year. Of course industry sales were lower than forecast in 2007, with just 630,000 units sold, mostly due to the political climate.
But it is a new year, and Nissan are hoping that post-election stability will lead to increased consumer confidence, and perhaps a spending frenzy. But naturally they won't be sitting by and waiting for the sales to pour in. Here's what they have planned.....
Volvo has expressed a desire to take part in the Thai Government's E20 campaign, which effectively allows for a 5% price drop on cars compatible with the E20 fuel specification. This has already resulted in large price drops on Honda, Ford, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi cars.
If Volvo were to benefit from the tax reduction, it could see prices of some models fall by as much as THB 200,000 - THB 300,000, which would improve the competitiveness of Volvo in the small, and very competitive, luxury car market.
Volvo are prepared to launch new cars this year which would be E20 capable, but unlike the likes of Ford who dived in and got burned 2-years ago, they are likely to wait until their is actually some E20 fuel available at the pumps first, and will study the E20 campaign further, and seek a clearer understanding of the specification and standard of the proposed E20 fuel from the Thai Government.
As you know Honda Automobile Thailand have already announced the price drop for their E20 compatible cars. These price changes take immediate effect, and Honda will even retroactively apply the price drop to customers who made recent bookings. So that's good news.
Here are the highlights........
If you are in the market for a new Honda just wait a few weeks and you'll save yourself between THB 30,000 and THB 110,000 depending on the model you are aiming at. The reason? On 1st January 2008 the government's tax reduction on E20 capable cars will come into effect, and Honda will be one of the companies to benefit from the 5% excise tax reduction, and it looks like they intend to convert this directly into lower prices.
bkkAutos.com is a car site, not a science site, so if you are looking for loads of detail for a science project, or you want to build your own fuel cell car, then you might find this article is a little light on technical details.
If you want to know what hydrogen will mean to us, then I hope you will find this article insightful and perhaps it will make you think more about the issue, something many in the auto and energy industries don't seem to be doing.
So, what is all the fuss about? Why is so much effort and money being spent on hydrogen "power"?