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Jun 10, 2006 | ID: 5148

Fifty per cent of the Volvo car models can be powered by renewable energy sources



Four out of eight car models from Volvo Car Corporation can be equipped with an engine for renewable fuels. The company’s environmental car range includes the well established engines FlexiFuel (bioethanol/petrol) and Bi-Fuel (methane/petrol), although they are not available on all markets. For the systems to travel further, politicians along with fuel distributors and producers of renewable fuels need to create better conditions and a functioning infrastructure, especially for biomethane.


Two established alternatives
There is no single answer to which fuel type will be best for our future. Many fuel types and powertrains are therefore likely to exist side by side. Volvo Car Corporation currently offers two engines for renewable fuels - Volvo FlexiFuel and Volvo Bi-Fuel. Both vehicles display the same performance and safety as when run on conventional fuels, but with lower emissions and a better total economy for the car owner.


Volvo V50 FlexiFuel
Volvo FlexiFuel runs on bioethanol E85 and is currently an option for the S40 and V50 models. Presently, the system is only available on the Swedish market where the infrastructure is good. Elsewhere, bioethanol E85 must become more accessible by an increased number of filling stations for this biofuel to win ground. The Volvo V50 FlexiFuel has a four-cylinder 1.8-litre ethanol/petrol engine (125 bhp). The vehicle meets the high safety standards that are synonymous with Volvo, and is manufactured on the assembly line with the equally renowned quality.


Running on ethanol
Bioethanol E85 consists of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol. Ethanol is a renewable energy source produced from biomass such as sugar cane, grain and cellulose plants. The ethanol and petrol are filled into the same tank, which makes it easy for the driver. The engine’s software then monitors the blend and automatically modifies injection and ignition to suit. Driving a car on bioethanol E85 means better total economy for the owner.


Benefits with Volvo FlexiFuel
Ethanol, being a renewable energy source, means several benefits for the environment. It makes us less dependant on oil, and lowers certain emissions compared to petrol drive. A car that runs on bioethanol E85 reduces net contribution of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by 80% compared to petrol. Sweden has the best developed infrastructure for bioethanol E85 in Europe. Other countries are also starting to take an interest in this renewable fuel.


Volvo S60 Bi-Fuel
Volvo Car Corporation started manufacturing Bi-Fuel cars in 1995. Today the system is available for the S60 and V70 models on the European market. The Volvo S60 Bi-Fuel has a five-cylinder 2.4-litre methane/petrol engine (140 bhp). The system is kinder to the environment as well as to the driver’s economy, without compromising engine performance. It runs on natural gas or biomethane, with petrol as a reserve fuel and for starting the engine. The fuel tanks are located under the luggage compartment floor, which means that the loading capacity is not affected. It is easy to fill up the car and to switch between the two fuels, just press a button on the dashboard. The vehicles are manufactured on the assembly line, meeting the high quality and safety standards that are synonymous with Volvo.


Running on methane
The Volvo S60 Bi-Fuel runs on either biomethane or natural gas. Biomethane is a renewable energy source, extracted from biomass such as waste or crop. Often it is produced locally, which saves fuel transports. Existing infrastructure made for natural gas can also be used to distribute biomethane, since the two gases can be mixed. Methane is a safe fuel with good potential in many countries. It lights at a higher temperature than petrol and diffuses quickly in the air if spilled. Petrol is only needed to start the car and is otherwise used as a reserve fuel. The engine automatically switches to petrol if the gas tank empties while driving.


Benefits with Volvo Bi-Fuel
Methane is a very clean fuel type with low emissions and efficient combustion. The emissions from a Volvo Bi-Fuel engine are considerably lower when driving on methane instead of petrol. When driving on natural gas, carbon dioxide emissions are approximately 25% lower than those from petrol. Running on biomethane - being a renewable fuel type - the engine gives no net contribution of fossil carbon dioxide to the greenhouse effect.


For further information, please visit Volvo Car Corporation’s Newsroom at or contact:


Christer Gustafsson,, tel: +46 31 59 65 25


One vision. Different ways
Volvo Car Corporation offers a wide selection of vehicles that can be run on renewable fuels. By tradition we develop safe solutions to make a difference here and now. Get acquainted with our safety systems and environmental car range in Paris, June 8-12.

S60, V50, Environment
Descriptions and facts in this press material relate to Volvo Car Group's international car range. Described features might be optional. Vehicle specifications may vary from one country to another and may be altered without prior notification.

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