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Ford Expands Flex-Fuel Efforts in US, Europe

Ford Motor has announced a new partnership with VeraSun Energy, the second-largest ethanol producer in the US, to expand the refueling infrastructure for E85, the 85%-ethanol blend used in flex-fuel vehicles (FFV). Flex-fuel vehicles can run either on gasoline or E85.

Ford also reaffirmed its commitment, made earlier by CEO Bill Ford, to increase production of flex-fuel vehicles in the US in 2006 (earlier post). In Europe, Ford announced that it is preparing to launch the new Focus Flexi-Fuel vehicle (FFV) and Focus C-MAX FFV in France.

Ford has produced flexible fuel vehicles for over a decade now, with more than a million on the road. Our introduction of four new models—producing up to 250,000 in 2006—reinforces our commitment. Fueling infrastructure for our customers, however, is lagging. We look forward to partnering with VeraSun and encouraging retail fuel providers to incorporate E85 fuel options in their operations.

—Ford CEO Bill Ford

Only about 500 of the more than 180,000 fuel stations in the US currently offer E85. Ford and VeraSun will increase the number of stations offering E85, particularly in Midwest markets where ethanol availability is growing.

Increasing FFV production and E85 use represent the best near-term solution to significantly reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The two greatest challenges facing greater E85 use are access to convenient fueling locations and a lack of consumer awareness. Because flexible fuel vehicles can run on both gasoline and E85, most FFV owners are not aware they are driving an FFV and simply use gasoline. Our research indicates that nearly 70 percent of flexible fuel vehicle owners are unaware they are driving one. With Ford as a partner, we believe we can make great strides in both areas.

—Bill Honnef, vice president, Sales and Marketing, VeraSun

The Ford/VeraSun partnership will convert existing fuel pumps to VeraSun’s branded E85—VE85—in existing retail outlets. A consumer awareness campaign to promote the benefits and use of E85 will also be launched. Local retail outlets and Ford dealerships will be asked to participate in the campaign.

The announcement about the expansion of FFVs into the French market follows similar introductions in Sweden and Germany, with the UK, Ireland and Spain in pilot projects.

Since the market introduction of the first generation Focus FFV in Sweden in 2001, more than 15,000 Ford FFVs have been sold. This accounted for 80% of all Focus sales and 80% of sales of environmentally friendly cars in Sweden in 2004. The most recent data shows that 40% of all Ford sales in Sweden are FFVs.

The FFVs, when burning E85, can lead to a 70% reduction in overall CO2 emissions compared to a traditional gasoline engine.



Why Not make ALL Gasoline Engines FFV? You can still use Gasoline if E85 is Not available.

Or make 30% cars E85 FFV , 30% CNG or LNG and 30% BioDiesel ?

Some of them Could be Plug in Hybrids with flex fuel engines?


I live in a suburb of Kansas City and the closest E85 pump is about 10 miles away. Not sure how many E85 pumps in the greater metro area but I think the number is atleast 15? The price for gasoline today (11/4/05) was $1.99, the biodiesel pump was at $2.30. I know I've heard the price varies widely from pump to pump (and state to state etc) as certain pumps pass on more savings (from tax breaks?) to the customers than others. Theres a CNG fuel station about 2 miles from my house and for the last maybe 2 years the price has not budged from $1.49 a gallon...even when gas was just over $3/gallon after Katrina/Rita.


Ford, sell that Focus FFV here in the States, I want to give you money for one!

I would like to shine a light on and make a plea to Ford, GM and V.W.. Sell a small inexpensive Flex Fuel vehicle here in the U.S.! You all sell them in Brazil, so the development cost is done.

Here in the midwest (IL, MN, IA, WI & IN) driving on E85 is becoming an option, however you have to buy huge (terrible mileage - expensive), expensive to buy (nothing under $20,000.00) cars and SUVs to run on E85. There isn't a single 4 cylinder FFV available in the U.S., nothing efficient. Ford added 8 cylinder vehicles to its FFV lineup and got rid of its smallest (Taurus, which couldn't make 30MPG on the highway anyways) this year.

Ford, sell that frickin Focus FFV here in the States, I want to give you money for one! Otherwise, I'll have to go and give Toyota some money for a Prius or V.W. for diesel (biodiesel).

I would rather run an efficient FFV..and I think alot of Americans would (certainly enough for 1 manufacturer to sell 1 small efficient vehicle)..come and get this market guys.

Peter Bursztyn

Does anybody out there realise that:
1. A gallon of Ethanol contains about 65% of the energy in a gallon of gasoline. So, when burning E85, your fuel consumption will increase considerably: a 25mpg vehicle will become a 17mpg vehicle when burning E-85.
2. The cultivation, harvesting, anbd fermentation of corn followed by the distillation of ethanol from it will create about the same amount of CO2 as burning the gasoline it replaces.
3. Fuel ethanol is heavily subsidised in North America. How sensible is that. Should we not pay for our fuel at the pump, not on our tax bill?

William Kaul

If Ford sells cars in Brazil and if Brazil has been using flex-fuel cars for twenty years, why can't I find a conversion kit to change my Ford Escort over?


This is not about getting better mileage, it is about getting less oil from overseas ASAP as a matter of national security.


I live in Birmingham, AL One of the biggest cities in Alabama. There is no E85 here. When I called dealers to find out if they had vehicles that use E85 they acted like I was speaking french. Americans are looking for a solution. Help us. My husband and I are looking for another vehicle to buy right now. I am waiting to here that there will is a refueling station here to buy a vehicle that uses this fuel.


All Chrysler 05 & 06 Sebrings with the 2.7L V6 are flex fuel and get EPA MPG 22 city and 28 highway (don't expect the salesperson to know this - tell them to ask the mechanic.) I haven't driven one yet but plan to as it seems to be the most efficient E85 auto available in the U.S. at least until someone offers a 4 cylinder. Also, Meijers has announced plans to start offering E85 at its gas stations in the midwest. If Brazil can be energy independent using flex fuel vehicles we can at least use them to become unaddicted to middle eastern oil. Write your Congressman and Senator.


I am ready to purchase a car as soon as two things happen. 1. A 4 cylinder FFV. 2. A gas station close by that sells ethanol. I will not purchase a new car unless these two things happen. I will just continue to drive my old one. It's small and hardly uses any gasoline. I would bike more if there were a safer route into town.


I am ready to purchase a car as soon as two things happen. 1. A 4 cylinder FFV. 2. A gas station close by that sells ethanol. I will not purchase a new car unless these two things happen. I will just continue to drive my old one. It's small and hardly uses any gasoline. I would bike more if there were a safer route into town.


I am ready to purchase a car as soon as two things happen. 1. A 4 cylinder FFV. 2. A gas station close by that sells ethanol. I will not purchase a new car unless these two things happen. I will just continue to drive my old one. It's small and hardly uses any gasoline. I would bike more if there were a safer route into town.


To me, the main reason to switch to ethanol is to put the profits in the pockets of American farmers rather than in the purses of Middle-Eastern regimes who hate us. We MUST eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. I personally would pay a higher price at the pump to accomplish this.


We need to step away from thinking E85 is the only answer for our problems. Fact is E85 can not cover even 10% of our curren consumption/engergy demands. We're in BIG TROUBLE here people. It is truely time to pool resources and push the car companies out of the oil business. REFUSE TO BUY A NEW CAR until it's truely GREEN, MPG should be 100, and electrical power plants should be main source of aceleration. PERIOD!! Don't keep paying for their feeble attempts to mislead and fool you. Force them to commit.

GM slipped and showed a little of what's possible with the EV-1 program ( time ago. Once this actually started to pan out, they recalled and destroyed all of the vehicles. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Meanwhile, universities all over America are developing solar powered commuter vehicles. Problem is these vehicles need more advanced battery technology, and protection from the large trucks, SUVs, and other multi-ton projectiles that make driving one of these small vehicles on the highway, a risky proposition. They need concrete barriers to segment out a light-weight communter car lane...sort of an extension of the HOV concept.

So it's going to take all voters, voices, and yes some personal sacrifice to drive this change. Those in positions of power are unable(no mater the party) to force this change. This is bigger than the president's office. Both parties are selling us down the river on oil. Measure them by their actions, not their words. Don't fall for the emotional ploys about our children and grandchildren. Demand this gets fixed for YOU, NOW!!

REFUSE TO BUY gasoline only vehicles. REFUSE TO BUY the E85 story. BUY Bio-desil, electric, solar, wave generated electricity, and most importantly..... but a mass transit commuter card for some percentage of your monthly travels, even if you don't actually ride. Without the mass transit systems, the poor don't get to work, or buy substandard poorly maintained gasoline cars/trucks with leaky seals, and the minimum or no auto insurance.

As for me, I'm going to move back closer to the electric transit line, and limit my car miles per month to the absolute minimum. It's going to be inconvienent. I may get caught in the rain walking to / from the train station or grocery store, but I'll sleep better while I wait for a vehicle that's worth my money. See you on the sidewalk!!


Ford Does Make a Flex Fuel Focus. They just don't feel the need to share it with Americans i guess. I pray though. I sold my 2003 zx5 focus last fall. sucker was the best car i ever owned. fast reliable, good on gas. put the corolla and vw golf to shame. I now take the metro. But i hope one day for flex fuel. There is 7 e85 fueling centers in NY state. Only one is available to the public. It is in the Middle of Long Island.


Those who say worse gas mileage on E85... Maybe couple, nothing major especially since it's cheaper than gas. US needs a 4 cylnder E85 car. As there gets to be more and more stations that carry e85, the manufacturers can build cars especially for e85. I wouldn't doubt that with direct injection, a 19:1 compression, spark ignition, engine that produces 250 HP isn't that far away. A person couldn't run gas in it, just e-85. I bet driven nicely that it would get 30+ mpg.


Thanks time to look deeper. I live in Queens near to Long Island. I never knew there were 7 e85 fueling centers in NY state. I too can't wait for the day where E-85 is the standard fuel so we can reduce our dependency on foreign oil. We need to give money to America, not Middle Eastern countries.


I too would love to buy a reasonably priced FlexFuel vehicle. I looked online and found that Dodge Caravans are now offering FlexFuel engines. I called the local dealerships... they had NO IDEA what I was talking about!

Didn't the govenment require that all vehicle stop using LEAD-BASED gas in the 1970s? There was no option for the consumer - it was required. I think the same should be done for FlexFuel & Hybrids. The technology has been in existence for YEARS but the oil companies have tried to squash it. Auto manufacturers MUST stop producing gas-only vehicles - our environment requires it, our national security requires it - our goverment should require it. VIVA E-85!!


Look, isn't there some way we can get the law-makers attention on this? Why they want to keep us paying outrageous gas prices while the money goes to oil companies/countries is curious. If you check out many of the web-sites on flex fuel vehicles, it appears that Pres. Bush and many Governors want us to go that way. Are we holding ourselves back? If there are some stations and some cars, why aren't there more stations and more cars (reasonably priced, that is)? If I had money, I would open up a dealership here in Kansas and work with the Ethanol providers to get some stations set up. Maybe we could start a petition drive. I'm from Kansas, anybody want to participate? Really though, the whole problem goes back to supply and demand. There has to be a demand before there can be a supply. It's all about making a buck. Problem is, there are people that are having to decide between driving to work or buying groceries and believe me, I'm getting close to that. People who can afford gas, don't really care how high it goes. Lets form an alternative fuel consortium and join our funds. Maybe we can make things happen where the government refuses to.


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