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13 Aug 2008 05:08:36

Lotus to research flexi-fuel engine

Lotus to research flexi-fuel engine
Sports car manufacturer Lotus is leading research into a "flexi-fuel" engine which could reduce vehicle emissions.

Working with Queen's University Belfast and automaker Jaguar, the Norfolk-based firm is to develop an engine which can run on either petrol or biofuel with the assistance of a £281,000 grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Lotus chief executive Mike Kimberley told the Eastern Daily Press that the Defra investment would contribute towards the development of an "environmentally conscious transport solution".

He added: "The automotive industry is now focusing on its environmental obligations to reduce CO2 emissions and improve efficiencies and we are seeing the high technology capabilities of Lotus Engineering being in strong demand."

While Lotus is working on a so-called Omnivore concept, a single-cylinder engine that maximises efficiency on both petrol and biofuel, the Renewable Fuels Agency revealed that the take-up of biofuel has not met government targets.

Biofuels accounted for 2.14 per cent of all UK road fuels in June instead of the 2.5 per cent required by the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation.

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