FuelsEurope statement on vehicle efficiency standards post-2020 (CO2 in cars and vans) – A call for the recognition of fuel CO2 reduction contribution to vehicle efficiency standards

FuelsEurope published last week its Vision 20501 which shows that low-carbon liquid fuels and efficient Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) vehicles can achieve, by 2050, 87% net greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction compared to 2015, which is similar to net GHG reduction in a Full Electric Vehicle (EV) scenario. This reduction can be achieved at a much lower cost (€390 Billion) for EV charging and network infrastructure compared to the full EV scenario (€830 Billion) estimated by Ricardo.

We, therefore, believe that the EU’s transport GHG reduction policy should be holistic, and include in addition to lower carbon fuels and vehicles, traffic demand, infrastructure improvements, and driver education/training/behaviour. We believe that the current Tank-to-Wheel (TTW) approach for the vehicle efficiency standards has been effective in promoting improvements in the ICE–based vehicles. A sensible continuation in the short term of the CO2-efficiency targets is supported, provided the following points are considered.

We call for a technology-neutral approach towards ambitious but achievable targets such that they can be cost-effective and delivered by different technologies.

Credible academic work shows the considerable potential for further efficiency improvements of ICE-based vehicles. Therefore CO2-efficiency targets should be set that are mostly achievable with foreseeable ICE vehicle technologies to encourage their further development.

Recognise fuel CO2 reduction contribution to CO2 vehicle efficiency standards.

Fuel providers will be expected to deliver fuel improvements, for example, CO2 savings associated with renewable components in the fuel.

The Vision 2050 study already shows that many technological developments have started and some are now deployed, although at a small scale, or close to be. Vision 2050’s Low-Carbon Liquid Fuel scenario shows that the 87% net GHG reduction will be achieved by a variety of liquid fuels, such as biofuels (54%), e-fuels (14%), and electricity (23%).

Recognizing fuel CO2 reductions will create clear and aligned interest for the auto and fuel sectors and encourage investment in new fuel technologies.

Recognising the contribution of the fuel CO2 reduction to CO2 vehicle efficiency standards will enable:

  • The alignment of interests for the auto and fuel sectors and encourage investments in new technologies;
  • Supplying the entire existing light duty fleet as these appear on the market, thereby enabling a wider GHG reduction compared to the usual fleet renewal scenario;
  • Contributing to creating an incentive for further developments of ICE technologies for transport sectors where electrification is currently not an option.