Equal Support for all Key Technologies for Sustainable Transport

The European Commission is expected to announce in early November the Mobility package. A central part of the package will be the proposal for Emission Performance Standards for New Passenger Cars and Vans. The Commission is being encouraged by some, to turn this regulation into a support scheme primarily to drive rapid, wholesale electrification of light duty vehicles (LDVs), effectively shutting the door on other critical technologies for transport for the long term. We would like to explain why this would be an unwise strategy to meet Europe’s long term technological, environmental and industrial goals, and how policy can be developed to give us more options for the long term.

A Portfolio of Key Technologies

Experts broadly agree that there are three key technologies for vehicles that will be necessary for the long term targets of 60% GHG reduction across all transport by 2050, and eventually, net-zero emissions across the economy:

Efficiency: Further development of efficiency of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) and the vehicle, for both light and heavy duty vehicles;
Clean Electrons: Electrification of vehicles including battery development to make use of the new resource of renewable power;
Clean Molecules: New lower carbon sources of liquids – including sustainable and advanced biofuels, green hydrogen based technologies, power-to-liquids, and CCUS technologies – “clean molecules”. These will be essential for heavy duty trucks, aviation, and marine, and also for chemicals manufacture, and other non-fuel products.

However In order to give a clear view to citizens, businesses, investors, and regulators, for wise choices to be made, we will need to evolve policy beyond the current limited views of GHG emissions in transport and its associated energy use.