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January 23, 2009

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Renault Extends Its Biofuel Vehicle Line-Up

Paris - Within the framework of its environmental strategy, which is illustrated by the Renault eco2 signature, Renault is actively working on a range of environmentally respectful solutions and has extended its line-up of vehicles that run on alternative energies. Following the releases of E85 versions of Clio Rip Curl and Mégane, it is today the turn of the Modus and New Kangoo families to include E85 bioethanol-fuelled options.

E85 bioethanol is both economical and ecological and, in addition to enjoying favourable pump prices in the majority of European countries, it reduces well-to-wheel CO2 emissions by as much as 70 per cent. Renault's E85 vehicles are flexible, too, since they are capable of running on either E85 fuel or unleaded petrol.

E85 bioethanol: reduces CO2 emissions by up to 70 per cent

When viewed from the holistic, so-called well-to-wheel’ approach, bioethanol permits reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of up to 70 per cent when the CO2 absorbed during the growth of the plants necessary for E85 fuel’s production is taken into account.

Moreover, E85 bioethanol, which contains up to 85 per cent of ethanol, reduces energy dependence and is less prone to fluctuations in the price of crude oil. It is produced from renewable resources and enjoys attractive pump prices in the majority of European countries. In France, the new 40 per cent reduction applied to CO2 emissions ratings means that E85 vehicles are not subject to 'ecosurcharges', while vehicle registration is free in many of the country's departments. To enable a vehicle to run on E85 bioethanol, it is necessary to make certain modifications to the engine. These modifications notably concern canisters, fuel pipes, fuel tanks, injection systems and combustion chambers. Renault E85 vehicles are consequently able to run simultaneously on E85 super ethanol and premium-grade unleaded petrol, irrespective of the proportion of each, with no adverse effect on performance. The Renault range already includes Clio Rip Curl 1.2 16V 75 E85 and Mégane 2 Estate 1.6 16V E85, and these models have now been joined by:

- Modus and Grand Modus 1.2 16V 75 E85,

- New Kangoo 1.6 16V 105 E85.

It is also possible to order 1.6 16V E85 versions of New Mégane Saloon and New Mégane Hatch. As is the case with Clio Rip Curl, the additional price to the customer has been kept to €200 (in France). This sum is recuperated after filling up just eight times since the average difference of €0.513 per litre in the tax-paid price of E85 fuel compared with 95-octane petrol represents a saving of €25 for each full tank.

In the case of New Mégane Saloon and New Mégane Hatch 1.6 16V E85, the price is the same as for the petrol versions of these models.

B30 biodiesel: a solution for fleet-run diesel vehicles

B30 is a biofuel blend which comprises vegetable oil-based methyl asters (30 per cent) produced essentially from colza, combined with diesel (70 per cent). It enables average well-to-wheel CO2 emissions savings of 20 per cent. This alternative is reserved for fleet use(1). Renault has already made B30-compatible engines available across its full range of light commercial vehicles and they will soon also figure in the New Laguna, New Kangoo and Espace ranges.

(1) Reserved for use by professionals in France (Article 3 of decree dated December 30, 2006: B30 diesel may only be employed by professional fleet operators which benefit from a specific supply chain with their own storage and distribution facilities).

Photos: Renault

(January 16, 2009)


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