Ford to supply FFVs to Somerset Biofuel Project

05 July 2005 #SMMT News

Ford has today (7 July 2005) announced a partnership with the Somerset Biofuel Project, in which they will supply their new Ford Focus Flexi-Fuel Vehicles.

Ford, the first manufacturer to market a bioethanol-powered car in Europe, is sole vehicle provider to the project in which Somerset County Council will take 40 Focus FFVs from early next year.

Ford is currently negotiating with the council, Wessex Water, Avon and Somerset Constabulary and Wessex Grain to introduce Focus FFVs on their fleets.

The Somerset project has been set up to produce bioethanol in the county, making the low carbon fuel for five refuelling stations to fuel the bioethanol-powered Fords.

Andy Taylor, Ford’s corporate citizenship director, said, ‘The Ford Focus has been Britain’s favourite car every year since launch in 1998. Ford has moved fast to launch a bioethanol version of the all-new Focus which went on sale this year. All this would be for nothing without the simultaneous installation of a fuel supply infrastructure alongside the availability of bioethanol vehicles from Ford. The Somerset Biofuel Project is proving what can be accomplished when major players work towards a common goal.’

Wessex Grain is planning a bioethanol production plant on an existing grain storage site in Henstridge which would convert 340,000 tonnes of wheat into 131,000,000 litres of ethanol a year.

The 1.8-litre Focus FFV will offer an overall 70 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to the same petrol-only model. This is achieved by factoring in the CO2 absorbed by the crop when grown prior to harvest for bioethanol production.

Ian Bright, sustainable development officer for Somerset County Council, said, ‘In addition to reducing greenhouse gases, the bioethanol project presents significant opportunities for the county’s rural economy. Ford is a welcome and vital member of the Somerset Biofuel Project, which is working to realise important environmental and economic benefits.’

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