Steps towards motoring without petrol and diesel came one stage closer today, with Volkswagen, Shell and biotechnology firm Iogen agreeing to look into producing a new biofuel in Germany.
A European Union directive on cutting greenhouse emissions means that by 2010, 5.75% of fuel in use in the EU has to be biofuels. In this agreement, VW, Shell and Iogen are looking to produce a new biofuel called cellulose ethanol, which is produced from the straw and leaves of agricultural cereals.
Two vehicles that run on biofuels are already sold in Europe at the moment. Saab launched its 9-5 Biopower saloon and estate models in November. These run on a bioethanol mix known as E85 and Saab claims this fuel cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 70%.
Ford also launched a biofuel Focus recently, known as the Focus Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV). IT also runs on E85, and will initially be sold to fleets, although it will be sold to the general public soon.
The fuel that Iogen proposes to produce in Germany can, says the company, cut carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared with conventional fuels.
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