|New Ford Focus FFV|
Ford is joining two European alternative fuel projects, PROCURA and BEST. PROCURA (derived from “procurement”) is a three-year project that began today in Utrecht (Netherlands). It follows the January 25 launch of the BEST (BioEthanol for Sustainable Transport) initiative in Stockholm (Sweden) (earlier post).
Both projects, partly funded by the European Union, are intended to assist the market development of alternative fuels and vehicles through the establishment of large-scale demonstration projects.
Project-members come from several areas, including the automotive and fuel industry, local and national government organizations, research institutions and fleet owners (public/private).
BEST, which focuses on ethanol, has pilot projects planned or underway with Ford vehicles in Ireland, the UK, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands. PROCURA, which looks at ethanol, diesel and natural gas, is to establish test programs in Italy, Portugal, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands.
Ford’s participation in PROCURA is focused on ethanol and flexible fuel vehicles capable of burning E85 or gasoline.
Ford has sold more than 17,000 Ford Focus and Focus C-MAX Flexi-Fuel models in Sweden, which, in 2001, became the first European country to introduce FFVs. This accounts for 80% of all Focus sales in Sweden. Nearly 40% of all Ford sales in Sweden now are FFVs.
Ford Focus Flexi-Fuel and Focus C-MAX Flexi-Fuel models are now on sale in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. The Focus Flexi-Fuel is also available in Austria and Ireland, and ready to be sold in France. Other countries are expected to follow.