• The road to sustainable mobility is not one but many

    The road to sustainable mobility is not one but many
Sustainable mobility is the common goal for car manufacturers all over the world. However, there is no single reply to how it can be achieved. Local conditions vary, and fuel types and systems must also work in the long run. With this in mind, Volvo Car Corporation keeps developing technologies to meet both current and future requirements.

"We offer a wide range of vehicles for renewable fuels," says Hans Folkesson, former Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Car Corporation, now driving Environmental Technologies in Ford’s European Operations. "You can get acquainted with our environmental car programme and system development at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2006."

For safe and sound living

Everyone engaged in mobility must consider what impact their inventions have on the environment. There is no single solution to how sustainable mobility can be achieved, so the work will never be finished. Pushing the future forward, it is rather a multitude of fuel types, engines and systems that together make up the safest and most diversified answer. This is what Volvo Car Corporation focuses on in their approach.

"Today we are proud to offer engines for renewable fuels in four out of our eight car models," says Hans Folkesson. "That is probably more than any other car manufacturer of our size provides."

Depending on infrastructure

Volvo Car Corporation already provides a wide range of vehicles for renewable fuels, primarily available on the European market. What stops these systems from reaching a broader market is the lack of sufficient infrastructure, together with large-scale production of renewable fuels.

"Volvo Car Corporation has developed two systems for renewable fuels that are in use and work well," says Hans Folkesson. "When these fuel types have been made more available through extended infrastructure, more people will benefit from them."

Entering the competition

Volvo Car Corporation has entered the flagships of their environmental car fleet in the Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2006. To illustrate their aim at finding different ways to sustainable mobility, Volvo Car Corporation also introduces their prototype Multi-Fuel at the event. The Volvo V70 Multi-Fuel is a prototype car optimised for running on five different fuels; hythane, biomethane, natural gas, bioethanol E85 and petrol.

Clean diesel technology is another key message, which is represented by the Volvo S40 1.6D, a four-cylinder 1.6-litre diesel engine (109 bhp) with a fuel consumption of 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres. That makes it the most fuel-efficient Volvo of all times. Entering the contest are also Volvo Car Corporation’s engines for renewable fuels. The Volvo V50 FlexiFuel has a four-cylinder 1.8-litre engine (125 bhp) and runs on bioethanol E85 - 85% ethanol and 15% petrol - thus reducing net fossil carbon dioxide emissions by 80% compared to petrol.

Representing the methane line is the Volvo S60 Bi-Fuel, with a five-cylinder 2.4-litre engine (140 bhp) that runs on biomethane and natural gas, with petrol as a reserve fuel and for starting the car. When driving on natural gas, carbon dioxide emissions are approximately 25% lower than from petrol drive. Running on the renewable fuel biomethane, the engine gives negligible net contribution of fossil carbon dioxide to the greenhouse effect.

Finding balance together

Like the environment, safety remains an important part of Volvo Car Corporation’s philosophy.

"Safety and the environment are equally essential to life," says Hans Folkesson. All living creatures need healthy and safe surroundings to survive. "Our job is to continue developing technology that can co-exist with nature’s own systems."

Volvo Car Corporation acknowledges the importance of finding a balance between technology and the environment, between different systems and methods. Other manufacturers’ efforts are therefore considered equally important to reach the common goal - sustainable mobility.

"The road to sustainable mobility is not one but many," says Hans Folkesson.

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