E-fuels would emit ‘five times as much as electric cars’ if EU criteria weakened
(Transport and Environment, 5 Oct 2023) It’s up to EU governments to stand by the 100% ‘carbon neutral’ requirement.
Cars powered by e-fuel will emit almost five times as much CO2 as electric vehicles if the EU waters down plans to require them to be carbon neutral, a new analysis finds. All new cars sold in the EU from 2035 must emit zero CO2 emissions at the tailpipe, but the bloc is set to make an exemption for cars running on synthetic fuel. While the EU Commission says only e-fuels that are 100% carbon neutral can qualify for the loophole, the oil industry wants that criteria weakened.
Transport & Environment (T&E) calculated the ‘well-to-wheel’ CO2 emissions of e-fuels – the total emissions required to produce, distribute and use the fuel. The analysis shows that e-petrol cars would emit 61 grams of CO2 equivalent per km in 2035 if lawmakers apply the weaker 70% carbon neutral criteria, which is required by the current EU renewable energy law. This contrasts with electric vehicles, which would only emit 13 gCO2/km when charged with electricity from the average EU grid from 2035. To be fully carbon neutral, e-fuels would need to be made using captured CO2 emissions that balance out the carbon dioxide released when the fuel is burned in an engine.