Low-Carbon Fuels to play an important role in the HDVs sector

In view of the upcoming vote of the European Parliament Environment Committee on the regulation for setting CO2 emission targets for new HDVs (Heavy Duty Vehicles) FuelsEurope, IRU and NGVA Europe wish to highlight the importance of an integrated and comprehensive approach when considering effective measures to help the decarbonisation of this sector. In this frame, the associations point out the importance of the role that low carbon fuels, and particularly renewable gaseous and liquid fuels, can play in creating an effective path towards net zero emissions mobility.

In 2017, the European trucks sector represented a circulating fleet of some 6.5 million vehicles, moving an impressive 14 billion tonnes of goods per year, delivering some 72% of all land-based freight in Europe, or 90% of the total value of goods. The importance of the sector to the EU economy is clear and is growing, and today heavy-duty vehicles is based 98% on Diesel fuel being responsible for 5% of total EU GHG emissions.

Supporting the future evolution of the heavy-duty transport sector, well-targeting decarbonisation and the need to address pollutant emission concentration levels, especially in urban agglomerations, low-carbon (including renewable fuels) have a fundamental role to help support further improvements in engine emissions, in parallel to any progressive shift to electrical road vehicle powertrain systems.

A future scenario clearly shows the evolution from a well-established system based on conventional engines and fuels to a more composite one, where internal combustion engines and electric powertrains (from hybrid to full electric) will co-exist, supported by more sophisticated fuels coming from conventional fossil fuels to low-carbon including renewable and e-fuels.

This new scenario urgently requires an updated system that is able to take into account and encourage the impact from the introduction and use of low-carbon including renewable and e-fuels with regard to future decarbonisation targets.

For these reasons FuelsEurope, IRU and NGVA Europe recommend the European Parliament Environment Committee support the adoption of proposals aiming to take into account the quality of the fuel and to particularly consider the introduction of a Carbon Correction Factor. In such a way, tailpipe CO2 emissions deriving from fuel consumption will be corrected with the resulting CO2 impact from the use of low-carbon/renewable fuels.

The system to certify the amount of low-carbon (including renewable and e-fuels) used, for example over a calendar year, will avoid any potential risk of “double counting”, ensuring transparent accounting of net CO2 emissions from the road transport sector.

The adoption of such a proposal is strategic, in order to include and enhance the wider use of low-carbon (including renewable) gaseous and liquid fuels that will complement the progressive contribution from the development of sustainable and affordable electrified powertrain. Low-carbon (including renewable and e-fuels) can show immediate and positive benefits in terms of lower CO2 emissions from the entire circulating fleet.