Joint FuelsEurope-ACEA position on the intention of France to introduce B8 diesel

Posted on 30/09/2014 in News

Following the intention of France to introduce B8 diesel on the French market, ACEA, representing the European automobile industry, and FuelsEurope, representing the European petroleum refining industry, believe that there should be uniformity through the entire EU fuels market across all Member States and therefore do not support the introduction by a Member State of diesel blends with FAME content higher than 7% volume (v/v) as a general market fuel.

ACEA, representing the European automobile industry, and FuelsEurope, representing the European petroleum refining industry, would like to emphasize that regarding specifications and quality of general market fuels and in order to preserve the benefits of the EU single market:

 There should be uniformity across the entire EU fuels market across all Member States (current and future new entrants). Customers and industry do not want to see a fragmented EU market;

 There must be clear quality standards (CEN) ensuring fit-for-purpose market fuels so that vehicles can operate across Europe without any negative consequences.

 As a result, until there has been an EU review to establish the need to move to higher and EU harmonized levels of high quality low blend biofuels (i.e. higher than B7 diesel and E10 petrol), no Member State should go beyond what is prescribed by the Fuel Quality Directive for general market fuels, i.e. providing a harmonized single market for road transport fuels. High quality, high blend biofuels could however be introduced, but only for captive fleets of dedicated vehicles.

Accordingly ACEA and FuelsEurope do not support an action by any Member State that would introduce diesel blends having a FAME content higher than 7% v/v as a general market fuel.

ACEA and FuelsEurope request that, for the benefit of the customer, all EU Member States provide similar levels of access to common and “high quality” general market fuels, which, in the case of petrol, comply both with Annex I of the Fuel Quality Directive and CEN standard EN228 or, in the case of diesel, comply both with Annex II of the Fuel Quality Directive and CEN standard EN590.

ACEA and FuelsEurope recommend that rather than introducing higher diesel blends than B7 as a general market fuel, Member States can consider other measures for the purpose of their own national targets for the use of renewable energy; for example, within the limits of the Fuel Quality Directive, introducing higher biodiesel blends for captive fleets of dedicated vehicles; Introducing, for the general diesel market, commercially available pure diesel-like hydrocarbons made from biomass from Fisher-Tropsch process or hydro-treated vegetable oils as already indicated in recital 33 of the Fuel Quality Directive.

Finally, ACEA and FuelsEurope believe that if a member state decides to allow the sale of diesel containing more than 7% v/v FAME in its territory as a general market fuel and assuming it also complies with the Fuel Quality Directive, it must also: ensure the continued and widespread availability for sale of B7 diesel for customers of those vehicles that will not be able to accept the use of a higher FAME diesel blend; ensure that any diesel offered for sale containing more than 7% v/v FAME must be distinctly labelled to enable customers to clearly identify what diesel must be used for their vehicle; Ensure that any diesel offered for sale will have the necessary parameters and limits to ensure trouble free vehicle operation. Accordingly, the necessary quality parameters and limits must be first investigated and included in the EN standards dealing with diesel quality, i.e. EN590, prEN16734 and possibly also EN14214.