The British Queen Elizabeth II has two state Bentleys, which according to the US Department of Energy gets nine MPG in the city and uses 31.1 barrels of petroleum a year. These royal $15 million gas guzzlers are being converted to bio-ethanol.
Queen Elizabeth the II, who lives rent free in several state-owned mansions and castles — the poorly insulated kind that are a bitch to heat in the winter — travels by a state-owned private jet and requires a security detail that uses many fossil fuel powered cars, trucks, motorcycles and helicopters, has decided to do her bit for the environment. The biofuel conversion is estimated to increase the fuel economy of her two, scarcely used, Bentleys by a staggering 40%. How? By burning some of her tiny island nation’s food supply in place of gasoline. Bentley is expected to introduce a similar system for its range of luxury cars by 2012, allowing similarly well-heeled individuals to feel better about themselves while dining on imported fine foodstuffs.
Converting her Bentleys to biofuel is the least the Queen can do for the environment, and it follows in the heels of Prince Charles converting his Aston Martin to run on ethanol made from English wine. The Bentley conversion will require changing the engines in the Queen’s limos. One of the Bentleys was a gift from the luxury car manufacturer, and the other was purchased so the Queen would be ensured there was always one on hand when she was traveling across the country. I wonder if the new bio-ethanol engines will also be a gift or will the Royal Family have to purchase them?
We have a lot of support from the Royal Family for our biofuel strategy. It is something about which they all take a keen interest. Bentley will introduce a new powertrain offering a 40 per cent fuel economy improvement by 2012. Also, by 2012, 100 per cent of the range will be compatible with renewable fuels, delivering significant savings in CO2 emissions.
Meanwhile, Bentley has had to cut production and lay off workers as the economic recession has curtailed global sales. Yea, our new Bentley was the first thing to go when we tightened our family’s purse strings. I wonder if the British government will need to bail out the luxury car maker like the US has done for the auto industry.
Image: UK Press Association