|The E85 Mégane.|
At the International Agricultural Show in Paris next week, Renault will highlight a new E85 flex-fuel Mégane—its first flex-fuel vehicle in Europe—alongside a B30 biodiesel-compatible engine for passenger cars, the 1.5-liter dCi 85hp.
As part of the Renault Commitment 2009, announced by CEO Carlos Ghosn early in 2006, Renault is planning that by 2009, 50% of its gasoline-engined vehicles on sale in Europe will be flex-fuel models capable of handling blends of up to E85, and that all diesels will be B30-capable. (Earlier post.)
Renault has been selling E100 flex-fuel vehicles in Brazil since 2004.
Renault will launch the E85 Mégane, powered by a 1.6-liter 16V 110 hp (82 Kw) engine, in Europe this spring. Renault modified the fuel handling and injection system (injectors, sparkplugs, ECU), as well as the pistons, valves and valve seats to support the ethanol blends.
Renault has been selling B30 biodiesel-compatible versions of Trafic 2.0 dCi and Master 2.5 dCi commercial vehicles since late in 2006. (Earlier post.) Aimed principally at companies operating large fleets and equipped with a specific pump, these vehicles cost the same as the equivalent conventional diesel-powered versions. The diesel 1.5 dCi 85 hp (63 kW) engine displayed on the stand illustrates how these developments can be carried over to passenger cars.
Renault is focusing on biofuels as one of the most effective and economical solutions for reducing CO2 emissions in the medium term. Another of the objectives set out in Renault Commitment 2009 is to sell 1 million vehicles by 2008 that emit less than 140g of CO2 per km, including one-third that emit less than 120g/km.
Renault is also presenting a well-to-wheels analysis of different fuel types at its stand at the Ag show. In the case of B30 biodiesel, CO2 emissions are 20% lower compared with a conventional diesel fuel and can be as much as 70% lower for sugarcane-derived E85 bioethanol (derived from sugar cane) compared with gasoline, according to Renault.