Hybrid, rechargeable, electric? The energy transition is spoiled for choice. It has one huge downside: the unbearably exorbitant prices of vehicles and such strong usage restrictions when it comes to purely electric vehicles! Ford wants to keep it simple to avoid this. Regardless of its electrification strategy, the American group has chosen “a transitional solution aimed at satisfying big-wheel users and replacing diesel,” he explains. Difficulties Louis-Carl Vignon, CEO of Ford France. Thus, Ford offers a (almost) complete range of passenger and commercial vehicles running on E85 fuel, ie ethanol. A simple adjustment of the gasoline engine by Ford Europe technicians is sufficient.
0.70 to 0.90 Euros per liter
The main advantage: This financially advantageous fuel – in France as well as in Sweden – costs from 0.70 to 0.90 euros per liter in the Paris region, from 1.80 euros for unleaded! Admittedly, the consumption is 20% to 25% higher. But the calculation is done quickly. In a small Puma SUV that combines ethanol motorization and mild hybridization (48 volts), filling its 42-liter tank with ethanol costs a maximum of 40 euros, ie. You can also refuel with anyone. “According to our calculations, one person will save 100 Euros per month,” insists Louis-Carl Vignon. In this month of April 2022, 2,831 service stations in France are dispensing superethanol.
The offer is even more interesting economically, as the prices of the vehicles are globally the same as the petrol versions of equivalent power. Or with a maximum surcharge of 200 to 300 Euros, which reaches 500 Euros in the Transit Connect van. A small 95-horsepower Fiesta Flexifuel retails for 21,790 euros, or more than 1,500 from the 75-hp petrol version and 1,100 from the 125-horsepower unleaded model. The icing on the cake: the gray card (240 Euros on the petrol Puma) is free.
Up to 72% less CO2
These models emit much less CO2 than homologation cycles. Thus, bioethanol produced in Europe will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 72% compared to fossil gasoline (source: ePure, 2019) and also According to the 2017 study of Professor Czerwinski from the University of Applied Sciences of Bern, 90% emission of fine particles. Bioethanol is produced from beet, cereals grown on 330,000 hectares in France, ie 1% of the useful agricultural area, sugar and sugar. starch residues.
The financial benefits are particularly attractive to customers who drive 20-25,000 kilometers per year and have to change their diesel after being condemned by public authorities. The result: for the Fiesta city car out of 4,050 orders collected by Ford France since 1private January 2700 was about the Flexifuel version running on ethanol. According to Louis-Carl Vignon, out of 10,500 Pumas ordered during the same period, the E85 version was chosen by “93% of buyers”. Of all Ford sales in France (73,000 units in 2021, expected to be 95,000 this year), Flexifuel “represented 65% of our sales in the second half of 2021”, according to the manager. Unique trap: increased consumption reduces autonomy and requires more frequent pump visits.
Ford uses fuel tax loopholes. Dacia has also switched to LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), offering a full range of products. In addition, a vehicle with LPG consumes 20% more fuel than a gasoline model. But a liter at the pump is twice as cheap as gasoline. The CO2 emission of a LPG vehicle is 20% lower than that of a gasoline vehicle. Simple and economical solutions that can be industrialized immediately without real additional costs are often the most sensible. Instead of revolutions that require tens of billions of euros of investment and a complete disruption of the production chain.