e-Fuels could play a “limited role” for fleets in the future, says FleetCheck, especially in applications where electric vehicles might remain impractical.
The fuels – designed to be carbon neutral – have hit the headlines over the last week after several EU countries asked them to be included in future car production legislation, circumventing a 2035 internal combustion engine (ICE) ban.
Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said, “There is talk of e-Fuels being made by companies such as Porsche and Ferrari bringing about a stay of execution for the internal combustion engine and this might be true – but only if you own a Porsche or a Ferrari.
“The bottom line is that these fuels are very expensive and likely to remain so, while their claims to be carbon neutral are in some respects, highly questionable. They do not appears to be a serious mass market answer to the future of either CO2 emission reduction or clean air initiatives.”
However, e-fuels might have a role to play in fleet applications where electrification looks as though it could prove problematic, at least into the medium term.
Earlier this month the future of e-fuels was highlighted when the Czech Minister of Transport hosted an international gathering of EU member states after a vote on phasing out ICEs was postponed.
The ban on internal combustion engines for new vehicles from 2035, which was thought to have been decided, is on the brink of collapse. After the formation of a growing blocking minority in the European Council, the final decision was postponed. Discussions are currently underway on how eFuels can be taken into account in the current regulation of new vehicles.
The possible solutions for establishing eFuels in road transport are numerous.
“With the Euro VII emission standard, which defines the type approval of new vehicles, a solution could be found that lies outside the CO2 fleet regulation and yet has a direct impact on it. By defining vehicles powered exclusively by climate-friendly, renewable eFuels as zero CO2 emission vehicles, it would be possible to avoid reopening the fleet regulation,” says Ralf Diemer, managing director of the eFuel Alliance.