Industry stakeholders call for EU recognition of renewable fuels

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 7, 2020

Ahead of the revision of CO2 standards for cars, vans and heavy vehicles in 2021, IRU, representing the commercial road transport industry, together with a coalition of European automotive, fuel and energy organisations and companies, has written to the European Commission calling for the recognition of carbon neutral fuels in EU CO2 legislation. 

From a commercial perspective, including taxi, bus, coach and truck operators, cutting CO2 emissions only at the tailpipe, which is the EU‘s current strategy, is not a comprehensive or effective way to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and will have no effect before 2030. 

The joint letter calls for the introduction of a credit system, similar to the one in place for battery electric passenger cars, enabling vehicle manufacturers to offset their CO2 emissions by producing vehicles that can run on low and zero carbon fuels.

This will require:

  • Recognition that low carbon and renewable fuels, both liquid and gaseous, play a key role in energy transition.

  • Incentives for the greater integration of renewable fuels from the waste management sector into the fuel mix.

  • Policies which enable commercial road transport operators to implement feasible and cost efficient solutions, including combustion engines that run on renewable and low carbon fuels, to be able to make an effective contribution to the full decarbonisation of mobility and logistics chains.

“Road transport operators depend on available and competitive solutions to drive decarbonisation. Both are lacking and the EU‘s tailpipe approach is not helping. The EU risks falling short of its environmental objectives and fails to understand that electrification is not a silver bullet for commercial road transport, which has fundamentally different needs to private mobility. The credit system we are proposing is an effective and technology neutral method for determining manufacturers‘ compliance with their CO
2 emission targets,” says Raluca Marian, IRU general delegate of the permanent delegation to the EU.

“We must follow a well-to-wheel approach rather than only considering tailpipe emissions, or we are just shifting the CO2 problem, rather than solving it. The EU‘s strategy for sustainable and smart mobility, which should be released next week, must bring clarity on this rather than imposing one technology choice, which will not work from an environmental or practical point of view,” she added.

IRU and 38 other international, European and national associations, as well as private companies in the automotive, fuel and energy sectors have joined this initiative. Together, they are a joint force behind the transformation of EU mobility for smart and sustainable transport.