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Britain's first bio-fuel car is out in front once again â€“ as the first Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) to be backed by discounted insurance from Norwich Union.
The Ford Focus FFV went on sale in August 2005 and since then customers have come from areas closest to Morrisons' bio-ethanol pumps in Somerset and East Anglia. Now Ford Insure, the company's motoring insurance scheme provided by Norwich Union, is offering a further enticement for environmentally conscious drivers to choose a bio-ethanol-powered car.
Customers insuring their Ford Focus FFV with Ford Insure from today will enjoy a discount of at least 15 per cent over equivalent petrol-only models. This means a 1.8-litre Ford Focus FFV LX kept in Taunton, Somerset â€“ where the first Ford FFVs were delivered â€“ will cost an average customer less than Â£260 a year to insure.
The equivalent annual premium for a 1.8 petrol-only Ford Focus LX is under Â£310. If another insurer beats the discounted FFV quote, Ford Insure guarantees to match the price for the remainder of this year.
Andy Taylor, Ford's European sustainability director, said: "Ford is on track to secure car market leadership for 30 successive years in 2006. As leader, the onus is on us to pioneer affordable technologies, such as Flexible Fuel Vehicles, which address issues such as carbon dioxide emissions and fuel security.
"We have successfully worked with partners in the private sector, such as Norwich Union, to make FFVs even more affordable to own."
The Ford Focus FFV can run on either bio-ethanol or unleaded petrol in any mix in the same fuel tank. Bio-ethanol can be made from UK-grown ingredients such as wheat and sugar beet, which absorb CO2 from the atmosphere â€“ reducing FFVs' total contribution to greenhouse gases.
Paul Ross, Norwich Union's head of motor partnerships, said: "We at Norwich Union are extremely keen to embrace new, environmentally-friendly technology through our insurance products. Our partnership with Ford has enabled us to deliver the first offer of its kind in the UK. This was an ideal opportunity to work Norwich Union's sustainability principles into our core products, enabling our customers to help the environment."