French Finance Minister Thierry Breton has outlined steps in an action plan to accelerate the adoption of E85 flex-fuel vehicles and infrastructure in France. E85 is currently not authorized in France. In June, however, the government launched its first tests of E85 vehicles. (Earlier post.)
The E85 action plan begins January 2007, and includes increasing the production of energy crops, deploying flex-fuel pumps, and ensuring that automakers offer cost-competitive flex-fuel vehicles.
Today we launch on a grand scale the first post-petroleum fuel for French motorists.—Thierry Breton
One policy focus will be to keep the price of E85 fuel relatively low. To that end, a special tax incentive will be introduced by the end of the year. E85, Breton said, should be cheaper than gasoline and closer to the price of diesel.
The EU has set a target of increasing the use of biofuels to 5.75% of energy consumption by 2010, but most EU countries, including France, are not tracking to this target. In May, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin announced new measures to increase the blending of biofuels with petroleum fuels to 7 vol% by 2010 and 10 vol% by 2015. (Earlier post.)
France produced 100,000 tonnes of ethanol in 2005; that is due to increase to 900,000 tonnes by 2008, propelled by the government insistence on a higher percentage of biofuels.