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Ford Introduces New Flex-Fuel Cars in Sweden

8 July 2005

Focusbioeth_ap

Ford has introduced its new generation Focus Flexi-Fuel, plus, for the first time, a Flexi-Fuel version of the Ford Focus C-MAX in Sweden this week.

Working closely with the Swedish Flexi-Fuel Buyers’ Consortium, a conglomeration of public organizations, commercial enterprises and private individuals, Ford was the first manufacturer to offer ethanol-powered vehicles in a European market. Ford has sold more than 15,000 Focus Flexi-Fuels in Sweden since the model’s introduction in 2001. In 2003 and 2004, more than 80% of alternative fuel cars sold in Sweden were Focus Flexi-Fuels.

As flex-fuel vehicles (FFV), the Foci can run on both an 85% ethanol blend (E85) and gasoline or any mix of both in one fuel tank.

Ford made three primary changes to the conventional Focus models to support flex-fuel operation.

  • The valves and valve seats of the 1.8-liter 16-valve gasoline engine are made of especially hardened material.

  • The engine control software senses the respective ratio of bio-ethanol and gasoline present in the fuel tank and adjusts the injection and ignition map accordingly.

  • The cylinder block has particularly effective pre-heating once the temperature decreases below -15ºC (+5ºF) to support the less-positive cold-starting characteristics of ethanol compared to gasoline.

Ford emphasizes that the primary environmental benefit of the flex-fuel cars is the up to 70% reduction of well-to-wheel CO2 emissions (because of the closed-loop biomass CO2 cycle) compared to conventional gasoline models. (That presumes operating the car on E85 and not gasoline.)

Comparative CO2 Emissions
ModelFuelCO2% Reduction from gasoline
Ford Focus 1.6 (100 hp) gasoline 161 g/km
Ford Focus 1.6 (109 hp) Diesel 127 g/km -21%
Toyota Prius Gas-Electric 104 g/km -35%
Ford Focus 1.8 FF (125 hp) E85 32 g/km1 -75%
1 Ford factors out the ethanol-derived CO2 to reflect “closed-loop” cycle.

There are some 300 E85 fueling stations in Sweden, with more on the way. Currently at the pump, E85 costs between 6.95 and 7.84 Swedish Kroner (US$0.88 to US$1.00) per liter, compared to a price of SEK 10.29 to 11.06 (US$1.30 to US$1.40) per liter for gasoline. (A price of $1.40 per liter is equivalent to $5.30 per gallon.)

Although Ford introduced the Flexi-Fuel Foci in Sweden, it is working with organizations and governments in other countries such as the UK to pave the way for the FFV’s introduction there as well.

July 8, 2005 in Climate Change, Ethanol, Europe | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

With such a huge difference in price (roughly 30% cheaper) I'd expect more manufacturers to introduce flex-fuel vehicles.

Is the price difference due to subsidy, tax break, or other?

Gas is $5.30 a gallon? Wow. Imagine what would happen in the USA if gas soared up to those prices...Kinda wish it WOULD, actually.

email

e85

Why is it when I called ford in the states they didn't even know what Flexi-Fuel even was. How can I buy a Flexi-Focus in the states?

They haven't introduced that model in the States. Until they do, you probably can't, I'm sorry to say, without going through the additional hassles of acquiring one in Europe and shipping it over and then ensuring that it meets US criteria for DOT and EPA--on your dime.

Ford has a FFV in the Ford Taurus and has offered this car in FFV version since the mid 1990s. Apparently they don't push it that much in sales pitches.
Ford also makes a Ranger in a FFV version

Hello there,

Could anybody tell me where I can buy this flexifuel
ford focus?

flexi fuel is the way forward, and can be pretty much produced locally very quickly. it is a shame that our UK government does not see the good sense & follow the example of the swedes. When we are told to reduce co2 emissions, flexifuel is a great answer, BUt there is very little will to help from UK Govnmt. Money talks gains- do they really care for the envoirnment???

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