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18/07/08

PSA approves B30 biofuel in its UK's HDi engines

B30 is produced sustainably in the UK

PSA Peugeot Citroen has approved a new biodiesel B30 blend for use in its cars which has just gone on sale at a large UK's supermarket chain, Morrisons. Between two and three million vehicles in the country could potentially run on it, a mixture of 30% biodiesel and 70% fossil diesel. Phil Maud, Morrisons' petrol director is enthusiastic, because it is produced locally from recycled cooking oil and rapeseed oil, lastly refined in the north of England. Maud agrees with the decision taken by the government to slow down the introduction of biofuels saying that they can make a positive difference as long as they are sourced in a sustainable way.

All of PSA's HDi common-rail diesel engines can run on Morrisons' new B30, that is every single diesel-fuelled Peugeot and Citroen car sold in the UK since 1998 (approximately over 1,5 million vehicles). In addition, all diesel-fuelled PSA vans sold in the country over the last three years can also run on it (95% of PSA's light commercial vehicles have diesel engines).

PSA’s HDi engines are also used in the current-generation Mini and in the UK's long-standing best-selling car, the Ford Focus. Other cars equipped with it are the Ford Fiesta and S-Max, the Land_Rover Freelander, and some Jaguar, Volvo, Mazda, Suzuki and Mitsubishi models. However, a Peugeot’s spokesperson said that, even if the 1.6 HDi engine is one of the best-selling engines in the UK, because of the different electronic and engine management systems on those vehicles, not all cars and vans fitted with the 1.6 PSA diesel are warrantied to run on B30 biodiesel. Phil Marraud is not worried about that, but he underlines the need to restrict demand so that the sustainability of B30 biodeisel can be maintained. That’s the reason why, according to him, it’s not cheaper to buy it at the pump than conventional diesel.

Good news from B30’s tests performed with fleets: as Mauds says, the companies with large fleets of vans and strong corporate social liability have shown particular interest in it. Media giant BSkyB has been testing it and they are entirely happy both for its sustainability and performance. Now, telecom company BT and EON are also conducting widespread tests on the fuel.
Morrisons remains the only retailer of bioethanol E85 in the UK, but Mauds confirms it won’t be withdrawn from the market, foreseeing major opportunities for bioethanol in coming years when oil companies face the emergence of electric cars. "Obviously it makes more sense to open more B30 pumps, given the number of vehicles on the UK's roads running on this fuel" he says.

Author: GIUSEPPE GANDOLFI

 

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