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21.10.2021

Energy transition of transport: Valid insights can only be obtained by simulations of the entire energy system

FVV presented in early October the next report of its fuel studies series in an online seminar in autumn // In addition to comparative environmental, economic and societal costs and many ecological factors, the new, fourth study on future fuels compares in particular the cumulative CO2 emissions for different energy sources and powertrain systems and relates them to the residual CO2 budget remaining for Europe // It becomes clear that compliance with a 1.5 degree target is not possible without taking the existing fleet into account

FVV presented on 01.10.2021 the results of its new, fourth study on future fuels in an online seminar. The related publications - presentations, the final report and a briefing paper summarising the six main conclusions - can be downloaded at the end of this message.

FVV Technology Briefing | Sustainable Fuels for the Energy Transition of Transport - Part IV
Authors: Dr Ulrich Kramer (Ford-Werke), Dr David Bothe (Frontier Economics), Frank Dünnebeil (ifeu)
Hosts: Dietmar Goericke, Johannes Winterhagen

In the new orientation study, we wanted to work out technology pathways (100% scenarios) by which the European transport sector can achieve the sector target agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement. Unlike numerous other studies on the same topic, the team led by Dr Ulrich Kramer chose a holistic cradle-to-grave approach that takes into account all relevant emissions from vehicle production and the setup of a sustainable energy supply system to use and recycling. For this purpose, the emissions caused by the construction of the infrastructure, such as wind turbines, electrolysers or charging stations, were also included. With this approach, the cumulative emissions up to the year 2050 were examined for six different energy sources and seven different powertrain technologies. This is because valid insights can only be obtained by integrated simulations of the entire energy system.

The study, for which around 60 FVV member companies provided data and knowledge, was carried out by Frontier Economics, a consultancy specialising in energy issues, together with the Heidelberg Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (ifeu), which examined the environmental impacts of the individual technology pathways and calculated the available CO2 budget.

The most important result may be summarised briefly:

Regardless of which of the 42 technology pathways for new vehicles examined Europe chooses, the greenhouse gas budget set for Europe will already be exceeded by 2032 due to transport emissions alone. The reason for this is the dominant share of the existing fleet, phasing out by 2050, in total emissions. Irrespective of the scenario, this amounts to around 70 percent at an identical rate of introduction. Without technology options that reduce emissions in the existing fleet, it will not be possible to achieve the ambitious European targets.

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