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Biofuels and/or Electrification?

A major study carried out by Ricardo for European fuels industry body Concawe has investigated the impacts of three scenarios capable of delivering circa 85 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from the light- duty vehicle parc within the EU by 2050 – and offers some surprising insights on the hazards of over-reliance upon any one technology.

The study drew upon expertise from across the strategic consulting, energy and environment, and technical consulting teams of the Ricardo group to provide a broad-ranging, quantitative and objective analysis of possible scenarios capable of delivering EU-targets for light-duty vehicle parc GHG emissions reductions for 2050. Rather than being forecasts, these scenarios offer three potential mixes of vehicle technology types that would be capable of delivering these levels of emissions reductions, compared to the reference ‘business as usual’ scenario. Each scenario was analysed in terms of costs, as well as wider market and economic impacts.

The three 2050 scenarios considered were:

  • a mass roll-out of battery electric vehicles (EVs), representing a fully electrified market by 2040 and 90 percent of the EU parc a decade later;
  • a focus instead on the development of low carbon fuels, including both biofuels and artificially synthesized eFuels, alongside some electrification, and
  • a third scenario representing greater use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) together with increased use of bio- and eFuels.

All three scenarios were shown to be capable of delivering the EU target of light-duty vehicle parc life well-to-wheels GHG emissions reductions to less than 13 percent of those of 2015 by 2050. The study examined capital investment costs for building infrastructure, reduction of fiscal revenue from fuel duties, total end-user cost, implication on GHG emissions, and risks of each scenario. Among other results, the analysis suggests that we will achieve more GHG reduction faster and at less cost if we drive towards a mix of electrification and low carbon, clean fuel.

Source: Ricardo
Link: https://ricardo.com/news-and-media/press-releases/report-shows-balanced-use-of-technologies-preferable-to-sole-focus-on-electrification