Honda’s heritage is steeped in research, technological developments, and a long-standing commitment to providing environmentally-sustainable transport. That’s why we’ve tried and tested all manner of options – solar powered vehicles, electric motors, fuel cell and hybrid technology. So it comes as no surprise that Honda is working on the development of biofuel cars, too.

  • 2007 Honda Flexible Fuel Vehicle
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Honda firmly believes that the most effective way to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the current UK marketplace is through petrol-electric hybrid technology. This is because the infrastructure and product is already currently available. For the future, our long-term solution is the fuel cell vehicle – FCX – which runs on compressed hydrogen and emits nothing but water.

So you may wonder why Honda is developing an FFV? Well, in countries like Brazil, the biofuel marketplace is well-established and a comprehensive fuelling infrastructure already exists. Knowing of the potential environmental gains to be reaped from developing biofuels, in September 2006, Honda announced that it had created a new flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) system that enables petrol engines to operate on either 100 per cent ethanol or a wide range of ethanol-petrol fuel mixtures.

There are two versions of FFV currently on sale in Brazil – a Civic FFV and Fit FFV. Both can run on up to 85 per cent bioethanol.

Up to now, variations in the ratio of ethanol-to-petrol have affected low-temperature start-up performance, and caused variations in air-to-fuel ratio and engine output. This has made it a challenge to maintain stable performance, fuel economy and emissions levels.

Based on measurements of exhaust gas concentrations, the Honda FFV system adapts to different ethanol-to-petrol ratios in the ethanol-petrol blend. This gives the FFV the flexibility to run on ethanol-to-petrol ratios between 20 per cent and 100 per cent, while still achieving outstanding fuel economy and dynamic performance on a par with a 100 per cent petrol-powered vehicle. To ensure reliable starts even from cold, a secondary fuel tank has been added.

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