Ford has announced a rally to promote its range of flex-fuel vehicles in Europe. The rally, nicknamed Route E-85 will start in Bodø (Norway) and will arrive in Paris (France) crossing six countries and stopping in five other cities: Umeå and Stockholm (Sweden), Copenhague (Denmark), Wuppertal and Aachen (Germany). The vehicles will be fueled exclusively on E-85.

The intention is to show that E-85 is a "now"-alternative for transportation that is completely transnational. Whereas some fuels might have some issues traveling across the (almost forgotten) European borders, E-85 can be purchased in most of the Western EU countries.

The rally will be held from August 24th to the 29th and they will be using five Ford C-Max Flexifuel MPVs fed only with E-85 along the existing network of pumps. Along them, and for comparison, 3 other identical cars will run on diesel and standard unleaded gasoline (95 RON). The results will be published after the rally.

Continue reading for more information about E-85 in Europe.

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[Source: Ford France]
Ford wants to showcase its E-85 technology in France, where 120 E-85 pumps are already working. By the end of the year, 500 will in operation and an its expected the number will grow to 1,500 by the end of 2008. The French government has also issued a set of measures to promote this fuel: No road tax for two years, an 80 percent reduction in sales tax (TVA) on E-85 price and the right to amortize it for 12 months. Ford adds to these measures with special conditions on financing the purchase of the car and a 10 percent reduction in insurance costs.

Ford's announcement also included some ethanol facts from around Europe: Sweden has already 790 E-85 pumps, France 120, Germany 83, Switzerland 22, Ireland 16, the UK 14, the Netherlands 8, Norway 6, Spain 4 and Hungary 1. If you also wonder how much it cost at the end of July in France, the average price of E-85 was between 0.75 and 0.86 EUR/l (about 4-4.5 USD per gallon) compared to 1.34 to 1.38 EUR/l for unleaded (about 7 USD/gal).


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