Bio-Fuel Ford Releases Sub-100 Grammes Of Carbon
EXCEL, London Docklands, 18 July, 2006 – Independent analysis of total carbon dioxide released by a Ford Focus Flexible Fuel Vehicle puts the car’s emissions at under 100 grammes of CO 2 per kilometer – lower than comparable vehicles using hybrid technology.
Researchers at Imperial College , in London , led the first study into actual CO 2 output for the flexible fuel car – reflecting its use of a renewable fuel. The Ford Focus Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) runs on either bio-ethanol or unleaded petrol in any mix in the same fuel tank.
While Ford’s 1.8-litre FFV emits 169g CO 2 /km from its exhaust pipe, the Imperial College research says this drops to 99.6g when CO 2 absorption by crops grown to make bio-ethanol is factored in.
The bio-ethanol fuel sold in this country is called E85 and can be made from UK-grown crops such as wheat or sugar beet. Emissions of CO 2 from the Ford Focus FFV were measured on a ’well-to-wheel’ basis, meaning that Imperial College looked at the CO 2 consumed and produced over the life cycle of the fuel, including its use in the Ford FFV.
Dr Jeremy Woods, research fellow of Imperial’s Centre for Environmental Policy, and a Government advisor, said: “Bio-fuels generally, and bio-ethanol particularly, could provide a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport. I welcome Ford’s lead in this area and trust that Government policies will encourage greater use of bio-fuels and the purchase of vehicles operating with high bio-fuel blends.”
Imperial College used data from the UK ’s Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and the European Consortium for Automotive Research (EUCAR), including ’well-to-wheel’ emissions figures for bio- and fossil fuels. The research was based on bio-fuel production in efficient modern plants, such as those under construction in the UK and becoming operational from the end of this year.
Andy Taylor, Ford’s European sustainability director, said: “We welcome Dr Wood’s work and the recognition that the Ford Focus FFV has the lowest CO2 rating of any of our vehicles on sale today. Flexible Fuel Vehicles are poised to become the most easily accessible and widely used low carbon technology. Imperial College ’s research strengthens the case for a greater national impetus behind making this happen.”
E85 is 85 per cent bio-ethanol and 15 per cent unleaded petrol. The 15 per cent petrol is required to assist starting up the vehicle as bio-ethanol does not produce enough fuel vapour for ignition.
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