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TRANSPORT SECRETARY TO MAKE GREEN FUEL ANNOUNCEMENT IN BRITAIN'S
FIRST BIOFUEL CAR
The Ford Focus Flex Fuel Vehicle
was the Transport Secretary's chosen car to travel to the
Environment Friendly Vehicle Conference, which continues today in
Alistair Darling MP arrived in the
bioethanol-version Ford Focus at the high profile industry event,
where he declared the Government's intention to make transport
fuels greener. By 2010, five per cent of all fuel sold on UK
forecourts will come from a renewable source.
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling, right, arrives at
Environment Friendly Vehicle Conference in Ford Focus
Flex Fuel Vehicle with Steve Cautley, Ford's vehicle
environmental engineering director.
The Ford Focus Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV)
can run on either bioethanol or unleaded petrol in any mix in the
same fuel tank. Bioethanol is a renewable transport fuel made
from ingredients such as wheat or sugar beet. While only a
flexible fuel car, such as the Ford Focus at the Environment
Friendly Vehicle Conference, can be driven just on bioethanol,
any vehicle can be filled with fuel with five per cent renewable
Other Ford environment friendly
vehicles at the conference include the Ford Transit HyTrans, a
micro hybrid commercial vehicle delivering 21 per cent fuel
savings, and the Ford Escape Hybrid, the world's most fuel
efficient sports utility vehicle.
Prior to the Transport Secretary's
conference announcement, Ford Motor Company's global product
development group vice president outlined the blue oval's green
strategy to delegates. Richard Parry-Jones highlighted Ford's
portfolio approach of researching hybrid, fuel cell and biofuel
technologies. Since its launch in July, the Ford Focus FFV has
continued to be in the spotlight as the first production biofuel
car on sale in Britain. The 1.8-litre car, priced £14,095,
delivers 125PS and fulfils Euro 4 emission standards.
Andy Taylor, Ford's European
corporate citizenship director, said: "The Ford Focus has
been Britain's favourite car every year since 1998. Ford moved
fast to launch a biofuel Focus and welcomes today's commitment to
green fuels. All this would be for nothing without simultaneous
moves to install a fuel supply infrastructure alongside the
availability of the Ford Focus FFV. We are proving what can be
accomplished when major players work towards a common goal."
Initial orders for the Ford Focus
FFV car came from the country's first regional biofuel project,
which brought Ford as vehicle supplier together with a bioethanol
retailer and local fleets. Somerset Biofuel Project partners will
take delivery of their first 40 Ford Focus FFVs from March next
year, when bioethanol will be available from five refueling
points in the county. Ford aims to sell 200 Ford Focus FFVs in
Somerset in the next two years.
Green Spirit, the fuel subsidiary
of farmers' cooperative Wessex Grain, has submitted planning
permission for a bioethanol production plant at its Henstridge
grain depot in Somerset. The facility will be able to convert 340,000
tonnes of locally grown wheat into 131,000,000 litres of ethanol
a year at full capacity.
The Somerset pilot triggered wider
interest in the Ford Focus FFV and bioethanol. The new Cornwall's
Biofuel Project joined forces with Ford for its launch on
November 14. Cornish county and district authorities, National
Farmers Union branch, fuel distributors and fleet transport
managers are investigating the potential of a local bioethanol