Amid the current uncertainty over fuel supplies, the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Exhibition could hardly be more timely. Visitors to this free event at Newcastle upon Tyne’s Civic Centre on 27 October will be able to evaluate two energy-saving solutions from a vehicle manufacturer leading the way in alternative fuel research - Ford’s Transit HyTrans van and Focus FFV car.

The diesel/electric HyTrans, which offers fuel savings of 21.3 per cent on the demanding urban delivery cycle as well as reduced emissions, is the first medium commercial vehicle in Europe to use stop/start technology.

Based on a production 2.0-litre diesel Ford Transit, the HyTrans has a belt-driven integrated starter generator that operates automatically to stop the engine when it is idling with the gear lever in neutral, and restarts it once the clutch is depressed.

The prototype, produced at Ford's Dunton Technical Centre as part of a 12-month Government-funded project, directly addresses the challenge of rapidly increasing deliveries to householders and businesses.

Ford is also the first major manufacturer to market a bioethanol-powered car in Britain. Its 1.8 litre Focus Flexi-Fuel Vehicle (FFV) runs on fuel produced from home-grown wheat. The first 40 models are set to enter service with fleets associated with the Somerset Biofuel Project next spring, in a pilot scheme for which Ford is sole vehicle provider.

In Sweden, where 80 per cent of Focus models sold are FFVs, bioethanol prices undercut those of petrol by more than 40 per cent. The FFV also offers an overall 70 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with its petrol equivalent.

The Energy Efficiency and Renewables Exhibition, staged as part of the national Energy Efficiency Week, will also feature seminars and displays covering other transport solutions: solar, tidal and wind power; domestic energy-saving and latest research from industry and universities in the North-East.

The show is open from 9.30am to 6.30pm and further information is available from Newcastle City Council by logging onto

Published : 11/10/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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