Bioethanol cars

praised by Green

NCAP

Ford Puma, side
Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV Titanium, front
Range Rover, 2022, side
Kia Sportage, 2022, front, static
Mercedes-Benz T-Class, 2022, side

CARS which can run on eco-friendly bioethanol fuel have been praised by environmental organisation Green NCAP for helping reduce greenhouse gases.

The environmental offshoot of Euro NCAP has spotlighted five cars which can run on the fuel - the Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi, the Range Rover D350, the Mercedes-Benz T 180 and Ford's Focus 1.0 EcoBoost mild hybrid and Puma 1.0 EcoBoost Flexifuel.

All were tested on E10 petrol and E85 bioethanol, although the Puma Flexifuel is not on sale in the UK and neither is the Mercedes T-Class.

The test results showed that bioethanol has considerable benefits for the overall reduction of greenhouse gases and global impact on the environment.

Carbon dioxide emitted by a bioethanol fuelled vehicle is absorbed from the atmosphere by the biomass source while the plant is growing, therefore no new CO2is added to the environment.

In the test with E85, the Ford Puma Flexifuel scored 6.9/10 points in the Greenhouse Gas Index, which is a significant improvement on climate impact compared to the score of 3.7/10 achieved by the same vehicle running on standard petrol fuel.

Overall, the Ford Puma 1.0EcoBoost Flexifuel achieveda three√Ęstar ratingrunning on bioethanolE85, whilst the results were sufficient for2.5 star ratingin the standard fuel case.

The Range Rover D350 is fitted with a six-cylinder diesel engine but Green NCAP said its mild-hybrid system could not reduce the consumption to levels which would allow Green NCAP to award it higher results in the Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas indices.

The consumption figures and the related greenhouse gas emissions are fair for a vehicle of this type and mass said Green NCAP but still constitute a large impact on the environment. It was awarded 1.5 green stars.

The Mercedes T-Class MPV was awarded 2.5 stars as was the Ford Focus while the Kia Sportage received a two star rating.

Dr Aleksandar Damyanov, Green NCAP's technical manager, said: "In the transport sector there are a range of possibilities that will contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, depending on the local situation and available resources.

"In the transition phase to clean and green mobility, full powertrain electrification could be effectively supported by other climate friendly options such as biofuels.

"Biofuel blending - FAME and HVO to diesel (B7) and bioethanol to gasoline (E5, E10) - is state of the art in Europe and required by law.

"If surplus bioethanol amounts are available, the blending share can be increased and E85 could be a viable fuel for some applications. In the short term, flex fuel vehicles are a cost effective and efficient technical choice in the transition, provided the ethanol used complies with sustainability and socio-economic criteria.

"Here at Green NCAP, we congratulate Ford for placing the Puma as a flex fuel option on some markets."

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