Volvo boasts new line of cars with climate neutral driving

In advertisements in Sweden, Volvo Cars Sweden AB, owned by Ford Motor Co, is claiming its new line of Flexifuel cars runs on regular petrol, an E85 ethanol/petrol mix, and on wind power. To back its claims for what it terms "climate neutral driving," Volvo calculates an average amount in grams of carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre driven for each of its Flexifuel models if the driver decides to exclusively run on E85. Average emissions from a regular V70 amount to 216 grams of CO2/km, but running on E85 it could cut that by between one half and three quarters. To offset emissions for the first 45,000 kilometres driven, Volvo is buying Certificates of Emissions Rights (CERs) from Swedish-based Tricorona carbon emissions trading group. According to Tricorona trader Peter Chudi, Volvo's CERs come from "gold standard" wind projects in China accredited under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and certified by the World Wildlife Fund and others as not being unnecessarily harmful to local inhabitants. The CERs are included in a "green package" included in each Flexifuel car sale, which also contains discounts on E85. Chudi says he believes Volvo to be one of the first car companies to offset CO2 emissions from its sales via CDM wind projects, but he believes more European carmakers will follow suit. Volvo expects to sell 10,000 Flexifuel cars in Sweden by year's end, surpassing its previous forecast for 2007 of 7000. The environmental benefits, however, are largely dependent on the drivers choosing to use E85. "That's just a matter of trust with our customers, that they are buying a Flexifuel vehicle to run it on ethanol," says Volvo Cars spokesperson Bo Larsen.