ROME – Synthetic fuels, also known as e-fuels, will be able to power only five of the 287 million vehicles circulating in the European Union in 2035. On the date scheduled for the stop to the sale of new cars with combustion, the availability of this type of fuel will be insufficient to ensure more environmentally friendly light road transport. The peremptory statement is the result of a new analysis by the independent international transport association, Transport & Environment.
According to the organization, synthetic fuels, obtained from the capture of CO2 in the atmosphere and from green hydrogen, represent only “a Trojan horse used by oil companies to delay the transition to zero-emission technology“. The study’s data, based on industry-estimated volume forecasts, belie the claims of fossil fuel companies, according to T&E. The refining industry, also engaged in the production of e-fuels, argues that a derogation from the stop of 2035 for vehicles powered by synthetic fuels would allow the development of technologies capable of decarbonising the entire light transport fleet.
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For its part, Transport & Environment argues that vehicles powered by e-fuels produce a greater environmental impact than electric ones, and hopes that “the use of synthetic fuels is destined only for the aviation and maritime sectors, which cannot count on batteries to achieve decarbonisation ”. “Synthetic fuels are presented as a carbon-neutral solution to decarbonise the existing fleet, but it is the industry’s own data that show that they will only be able to power a fraction of the cars on the road – said Veronica Aneris, director by Transport & Environment Italia – In reality, fuel manufacturers and internal combustion engine manufacturers are only trying to keep inefficient internal combustion engines alive beyond what is necessary. Lawmakers close the door to this Trojan horse of the fossil industry ”.
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EU legislators are currently working on defining the rules for the planned decommissioning of combustion engines starting in 2035 and the next round of negotiations is scheduled for next 27 October. (Maurilio Rigo)