Wednesday, 16 January 2008

What's outside today 35 - Volvo C30 F

This one went back today. It's the bioethanol-capable version of the C30 - it uses the same 1.8 litre engine as the Ford Fusion FFV that featured on the Verdict last autumn. The fuel itself is called E85 because it's 85% bioethanol and 15% petrol (the petrol is required for cold starting in northern Europe, apparently).

I had a chance to do the standard C30 about a year ago and I think its a fairly nice machine - and a good-looking one as well. I have to say I'm a bit surprised there aren't more on the roads, although pricing that's a little bit on the high side may be holding it back.

Unusual colour scheme - it's a sort of off-white pearlescent paint. More evidence, I suppose that the manufacturers are trying to find, if not the new black, then the new silver metallic.

Anyway, I've been testing and reporting on E85 capable cars since they first appeared in the UK about two and a half years ago and progress has been painfully slow - the car manufacturers and the supermarkets are often held up as the bad guys when it comes to environmental matters but in this case they've done their bit by making the cars and the fuel available. It's the government that's let the side down by not providing bigger tax incentives for renewable fuels, along with us, the car-buying public, for not buying the cars or the E85.


Fourwheelsteer said...

Has the price of E85 kept pace with the latest increase in the price of petrol and diesel?

David Wilkins said...

Morrisons are keeping E85 2p cheaper than standard unleaded, which is pretty much what the margin has always been - I'm basing this in the prices at Moorrisons in Crowborough in East Sussex when I was down there doing the Verdict last weekend.