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Ford expands flexifuel initiative

Ford has announced an expansion to its foray into alternative-fuelled vehicles with the launch of three more low CO2 flexifuel models, due early next year.

But it believes that governments need to do more to encourage consumers to consider these cars. Ford has earmarked £1bn towards developing ‘green’ technologies. Last month it appointed Jan Brentebraten to head its alternative fuels programme.

Next year, Mondeo, Galaxy and S-Max models will join Focus and C-Max with a flexifuel derivative. Flexifuel enables vehicles to run on E85 (85% bioethanol; 15% petrol), petrol only, or any mix in one fuel tank.

John Fleming, Ford of Europe president and CEO, says: “We are working on a broad range of technologies including clean diesel, micro hybrid, full hybrid, lightweight materials and flexifuel.

“Technology needs to suit all categories of vehicles. There is not one type that is going to win – it will depend on the size of the vehicle and the market.”

He claims Ford is the leader in Europe in flexifuel, but acknowledges that the perception is probably different. “We will communicate our flexifuel credentials later this year,” he adds.

But carmakers are being frustrated by a lack of support from governments. “It is not being pushed by government as much as it should be, especially with the fuelling infrastructure,” Fleming says. “We need help to drive this forward.”

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