Geneva Motor Show: Ford promises to expand ethanol/flexifuel lineup in Europe

As we found out yesterday, one of the pushes that Ford is doing in Geneva is beefing up its ethanol-capable vehicle line in Europe. This might be considered a Bold Move, as ethanol is not exactly common in the EU, although there are expected to be over 60 ethanol plants in Europe by the end of next year.

Ford of Europe will bring out three flexifuel models by early next year: the New Mondeo, Galaxy and S-MAX,. Currently, the Focus and C-MAX (pictured) are available with flexifuel engines. The S-MAX was selected Car of the Year 2007, so the addition of ethanol capability might prompt more ethanol production (or importation) in Europe. Ford of Europe has sold 28,500 Ford flexifuel units in Sweden since introducing them there six years ago. Read more after the break.

Ford also announced yesterday that the C-MAX would sell for between £12,995 to £19,045 starting in April.

View 5 Photos

[Source: Ford]

  • Ford of Europe commits to further reduce CO2 with three new flexifuel models in early 2008
  • New Mondeo, Galaxy and S-MAX will join existing Focus and C-MAX flexifuel models
  • With these new models, Ford will offer one of the broadest flexifuel portfolios in Europe
  • Move underpins Ford's recognized position as a market leader of affordable and available low-CO2 vehicle technologies
GENEVA , March 6, 2007 – Ford of Europe announced today it will step up its efforts to further reduce CO2 by adding three new flexifuel models to its range.

The striking all-new Mondeo, the Ford Galaxy and the Ford S-MAX – Car of the Year 2007 – will be made available with flexifuel powertrains from early 2008. Combined with Ford's existing Focus and C-MAX flexifuel models, this will give the company one of the broadest ranges of flexible fuel vehicles available in Europe.

"Flexifuel technology offers us a real opportunity to make personal mobility more sustainable right now," said John Fleming, President and CEO, Ford of Europe. "This efficient, environmentally advanced technology is one easy way in which we all can do something positive to combat climate change without giving up basic needs such as personal car use. "

"Flexifuel technology is available today and it's affordable, not only for the environment, but also for the customer," Fleming added. "We're committed to pursuing a portfolio of technologies with the ultimate goal of reducing CO2, and we see flexifuel as one of the most affordable and fuss-free options, provided the fuel infrastructure continues to grow."

Ford of Europe – the Flexifuel Pioneer

Ford is the market pioneer of flexifuel vehicles (FFVs) in Europe where it sold more than 28,500 Ford flexifuel units since market introduction in Sweden six years ago. Ford can also claim the largest owner body for FFVs in Europe as a result of this industry-leading initiative.

While the majority of these FFVs have been sold in Sweden, the two current models – the Ford Focus and C-MAX flexifuel – have progressively been made available in a rapidly increasing number of European markets (11). The next market will be Italy where the two models will be available for sale starting in the second quarter 2007. Ford is confident that more markets will follow as the demand for this type of technology is expected to continue to grow, especially as the European Union works to increase the use of bio-fuels in the future.

Ford's alternative fuel portfolio is complemented by additional availability of CNG (compressed natural gas) versions of Focus C-MAX and Transit - plus Transit LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) - in selected markets.

Through this and its range of low-CO2 conventional vehicle technologies, such as its high tech clean diesel technologies with amongst-best-in-class CO2 performance (starting with the Ford Fiesta at 116 gCO2/km), Ford is offering one of the broadest low-CO2 vehicle portfolios in Europe already today.

Strengthening Commitment

As a result of its growing market success, Ford recently strengthened its European alternative fuel vehicle organization and named Jan Brentebraten to the newly-created position of Director, Flexifuel and Alternative Fuel Vehicles strategy.

This comes as a result of Ford's 2006 announcement of a £1 billion (approx. €1.5 billion) investment to develop a broad range of environmental technologies for Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo cars. These technologies include flexifuel and alternative fuel vehicles. Under this plan more than 100 models and derivatives with improved emissions or fuel economy will be introduced over the next five years, including the introduction of a sub-100 gCO2/km version of a regular Ford Focus.

Like the Focus and C-MAX flexifuel models, the new Ford Mondeo, Galaxy and S-MAX flexifuel models are designed to run on a high blend bio-ethanol in petrol (up to 85% bio-ethanol, sold as E85), as well as on petrol only, or on any combination of both fuels, making them exceptionally flexible. The use of bio-ethanol in combination with Ford's flexifuel technology can lead to up to 80% reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Full technical and market availability details of the new models will be released closer to launch early in 2008.

"With the extension of our flexifuel fleet across the heart of our European car line, Ford of Europe will take another major step towards making mobility more sustainable," Fleming said.

More Information