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Green light for biofuel car

PUBLISHED: 09:42 07 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 October 2010

Two Norfolk companies are helping the environment with cars that run on biofuels.

Norwich Union, the city's biggest employer, hopes to bring green cars into its company fleet, while the chief executive of the company's insurance arm is testing out a biofuel model himself.

Two Norfolk companies are helping the environment with cars that run on biofuels.

Norwich Union, the city's biggest employer, hopes to bring green cars into its company fleet, while the chief executive of the company's insurance arm is testing out a biofuel model himself.

The company is working with carbon reduction campaigners at CRed, based at the University of East Anglia.

Meanwhile, Renewables East, the Norwich-based green energy agency for the East of England, has bought a Ford Focus that can run on either biofuel or conventional petrol.

In March, Morrisons supermarket in Norwich opened the country's first bioethanol pump, followed by more in Dereham, Lowestoft, Diss and Ipswich.

The likelihood of there being cars that can use the pumps has increased with the moves by Norwich Union and Renewables East.

Simon Machell, chief executive of Norwich Union Insurance, is testing a Saab 95 demonstration model that can run on 85pc bioethanol.

He said: "The performance seems excellent from a driver's perspective and I am pleased to say we have begun our journey into looking at new biofuel and car technology, but we have a long way to go. However, after the trial and when fuel becomes more readily available, discussions will take place as to the adoption of the model within the Aviva fleet."

Norwich Union fleet manager Martin Hannan said: "We recognise alternative fuel issues are high on the social and corporate fleet agenda both in terms of environmental protection and fossil fuel sustainability. Far-reaching and wider implications could manifest following these trials which could form a framework for environmental progress with the Aviva fleet."

James Beal, managing director of Renewables East, said: "To be honest, I would rather not own a car, but in delivering our mission as the regional renewable energy agency, I find that travelling on public transport is often not viable and I need a car. However, I am now delighted that in running a bioethanol car I can reduce my personal carbon emissions by around 50pc."

Bruce Tofield, of CRed, said: "Transport is a major and growing contributor to carbon dioxide emissions and climate change because it depends on oil, a fossil fuel.

"CRed has been working with Norwich Union to help the company take action to combat climate change and we're very pleased to see NU taking leadership in cutting carbon dioxide emissions from car use."


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