A policy framework for transport in which all renewable technologies can compete fairly
There is no such thing as “one technology for all”
Transport is a complex sector, which makes decarbonisation difficult. The diversity of modes of transport and the uses of each of them means that there is no âone technology that fits allâ. There is a clear consensus that electrification will become the dominant technology for light vehicles and that strong policy measures are needed to encourage their adoption. But electrified vehicles are not the only way to achieve sustainable transportation goals. It is not clear why electrified vehicles should have a technological monopoly. FuelsEurope believes that such a political decision, whether at EU or national level, is both unnecessary and reckless.
The decarbonization of transport fundamentally concerns the decarbonization of energy, and an internal combustion engine powered by renewable and sustainable fuels has a carbon footprint comparable to that of an electric vehicle. In addition, it has the potential, like an electric vehicle, to become climate neutral or achieve net zero CO2 emissions..
Creating fair competition between technologies has valuable social and economic consequences for the EU. In the case of low-carbon liquid fuels in road transport, this would aid the deployment of infrastructure for fully electric vehicles and reduce the pressure on the demand for critical raw materials. It will also accelerate the reduction in the carbon intensity of transport by reducing the need for fleet renewal and allow existing and new vehicles to access low carbon liquid fuels.
The danger of leaving European citizens behind
Access to various technologies would give citizens a choice and allow them to assess which technology will best meet their needs. Restricting consumer choice could put low carbon mobility beyond the reach of many European citizens. Indeed, millions of EU citizens and businesses, especially in many countries of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe countries with older vehicle fleets, rely on older, inexpensive and often second-hand vehicles for their family, work or small business. These vehicles, which cost a fraction of the price of an electric vehicle, are vital for these European citizens.
The significant scaling of low carbon liquid fuels are possible on the basis of proven technologies and the well-established availability of a sustainable raw material. Sustainable biomass from a wide range of agricultural and forestry sources, household and industrial wastes, and synthetic fuels can collectively harness the global potential of renewable energies. And they can be transported from remote areas using existing infrastructure. European companies are leading technology providers of these solutions and the pursuit of those solutions would create jobs across Europe – consolidating and preparing the sources of these raw materials. The construction and operation of processing plants would create even more jobs. However, the current trend towards full, rapid and exclusive electrification risks discouraging such developments.
Failure to recognize biogenic or captured CO2 means vehicle CO2 policies are not technologically neutral
A more inclusive approach to fuel policies, starting with a clear recognition of their contribution to reduce vehicle emissions and enable benefits and incentives at the customer level, can produce greater CO2 savings that an electric vehicle monopoly will offer. Adding the ability for new vehicles to achieve CO2 compliance through sustainable renewable fuels will help preserve jobs in the automotive value chain, making the transition through recycling and skills building more manageable. Industrial strategies and global investment plans show that the internal combustion engine has a bright future in most other regions. While the EU is currently the leader in internal combustion engine technology, this lead, along with the deployment of sustainable renewable fuels, is likely to shift to other regions. China in particular China will seize the opportunity to gain significant market share to the detriment of the European automobile industry.
Europe’s climate ambition needs a strong strategy for sustainable renewable fuels. In this context, the inclusion of road transport may be transitory, but it is of an additional and strategic nature. This strategy must begin with a review of vehicle CO2 policies to reflect the correct science of net CO2 emissions using biogenic and carbon-based captured fuels.
The Commission’s vehicle CO2 policy is based on a methodology which is not consistent with other CO2 methodologies, such as the ETS, or biomass combustion is classified as zero emissions. It is also incompatible with a net zero target for the EU. Lack of recognition of biogenic or captured CO2 in combustion vehicles means that vehicle CO2 policies do not address all renewable technologies on a fair and equitable (technologically neutral) approach.
All relevant technology options should compete on an equal footing
In addition to being a strategy for the existing fleet, a renewable energy strategy for road transport is a strategy that will help develop the sector for the benefit of the air and maritime sectors. Like the early years of wind and solar PV renewable energy, investments are characterized by higher investment costs. Road transport, with its relatively low energy intensity, its lack of risk of carbon leakage and its numerous fiscal and policy tools, is able to support a more rapid intensification of the production of renewable and sustainable fuels. Aviation and maritime alone are unlikely to achieve such rapid scale-up, and the transferability of fuels between sectors means that a transitional role for road transport is a no-regret strategy, which could lead to greater volume low carbon fuels will be available later for international and maritime aviation.
A crucial first step should be for the Commission to seize the opportunity of the current revision of the 2030 targets to also examine and rectify the incompatible nature of the current methodology for vehicle CO2 against the net zero targets for 2050. Such a correction can open up many opportunities for additional CO2 savings, jobs, investments and for a greater number of vehicle users to participate in the use of renewable energies, in gaseous or gaseous form. liquid.
We have the opportunity, with the revision of a number of regulations, to ensure that all relevant technological options can compete on an equal footing and collectively achieve the climate targets set for the transport sector. Customers, citizens and markets can then decide and whatever they choose, Europe’s climate ambition will be successful. And not only that – he could also progress faster.