The EU’s green fuels law uses tools from the combustion engine age. It’s time for a change

(EurActiv, 20 Apr 2021) Green electricity seems set to overtake petrol and diesel as the transport fuel of the future, but an unwillingness to look beyond the internal combustion engine has led to a focus on biofuels to meet environmental targets. The EU should allow fuel suppliers to replace biofuels with renewable electricity, writes Geert De Cock.

Geert De Cock is electricity and energy manager at Transport & Environment, an NGO advocating for clean mobility.

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as if it were a nail”. These famous words by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow could well apply to the promotion of renewable energy in transport. If the only tool you have is the internal combustion engine, you tend to treat biofuels as the only tool available to get the job done. But that would be lazy thinking. We urgently need to start taking renewable electricity seriously as a transport fuel.

Sales of electric vehicles are taking off, reaching more than 10% in 2020. Just recently, the CEO of Audi called for ‘Technologieklarheit’ (technological clarity): no gasoline, no diesel, no (plug-in) hybrids, no gas and no hydrogen in passenger cars, only battery electric. Many other car and truck manufacturers now state publicly that the future of almost all road transport will be battery-electric – even long-haul trucks.

This begs the question, why does the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) still allow EU member states to achieve its targets exclusively with a blunt hammer like biofuel blending? In fact, 25 of the EU’s 27 countries only allow fuel suppliers to meet their renewable transport fuel targets with biofuel blending. This is an approach that dates back to the age of the internal combustion engine.

External link

EurActiv, 20 Apr 2021: The EU’s green fuels law uses tools from the combustion engine age. It’s time for a change