If the UK government was serious about motorists becoming more environmentally responsible, drivers should be encouraged to use alternative fuels, Volvo has said.

Carmakers can equip their models to run on fuels such as LPG or ethanol, but the infrastructure for motorists to fill up is inadequate. Government grants for converting vehicles have all but dried up.

Stuart Kerr, managing director of Volvo UK, whose company has been a leader in alternative fuels technology, said: “We really need the government, the oil companies and the car industry to come together on things like this. The government should certainly be looking to incentivise people towards alternative fuels.”

Volvo currently has cars that will run on E85 ethanol and more are planned for the future. In its Swedish home market, all Volvo dealers have E85 available on their forecourts.

In the UK the Morrisons supermarket chain is the only place to provide a regular supply of E85. Kerr added: “We are seeing the oil companies start to take a greater interest in ethanol and this is a good thing.”

While the motor industry is often made out to be the ‘bad guy’ on green issues, Kerr pointed out that Volvo has very strong environmental credentials in terms of manufacturing processes, use of recyclable materials and what happens to the car at the end of its life.

“We are very transparent about this. Anyone can see on our website how clean our processes are, what materials are used and how they can be recycled.

“We are investigating new technologies all the time – for example there are 4m asthma sufferers in the UK and about the best place for them to be is in a Volvo because the air filters we use are so good.”