Ford is negotiating for a strategic small network of bioethanol fuel pumps in central London to support its introduction of the Focus Flex-Fuel Vehicle in 2006.

The £14,095 125PS FFV hatch and wagon appears in sales brochures early next year after successful fleet trials this year in Somerset, which is setting up its own bioethanol refuelling network in the county.

Andy Taylor, Ford's European corporate citizenship director, said, "We are talking to a major fuel retailer in London to support a small network in London which would supply bioethanol.

"We are also putting the case for the FFV to be exempt from congestion charging because its CO2 emissions are very low and it only releases the carbon it absorbed growing the raw wheat which is turned into ethanol."

The FFV has a modified 1.8 litre engine which can run on bioethanol or - standard unleaded if the 'green' fuel is unavailable.

Robin Roberts