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29.03.2021

WKM: The transformation of mobility requires a clear openness to technology in the political arena

Scientists call for a non-ideological debate on appropriate pathways to implement carbon-neutral powertrain technologies for passenger cars and commercial vehicles // Together with a mandatory blending quota of so-called reFuels for the passenger car fleet based on their CO2 potential

Due to the current discussions on the mobility strategy of the future, the Scientific Society for Automotive and Engine Technology (Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Kraftfahrzeug- und Motorentechnik - WKM) has published a position paper on the technical, regulatory and social challenges of passenger car and commercial vehicle powertrain technologies in the coming decades. The goal is the implementation of a sustainable, long-term carbon-neutral mobility.

Successful climate protection needs a faster pace

In a position paper, university professors organised in the WKM demand that the Paris climate goals can only be achieved with measures for CO2 reduction that can be implemented quickly. The current draft of the EU Renewable Energy Directive RED II does not do justice to the challenges posed. According to the WKM experts, this regulation does not sufficiently advance the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Only a suitable technology mix will be able to cope with the task of CO2 reduction. In some cases, the current regulation even leads to an unnecessary additional burden on the CO2 residual budget. "Holistic energy system calculations show that even with an optimistic assumption of the expansion of regenerative sources for electrical energy, noticeable CO2 savings could be achieved by nationwide battery mobility after 2030 at the earliest, realistically rather later than 2035," analyses Hermann Winner, Institute Director for Vehicle Technology at the Technical University of Darmstadt.

Wrong stop signals from politicians

Despite this scientifically proven factual situation, some politicians are sending the wrong stop signals for technology development and not taking important findings into account. "We need clear technological openness and less ideology," demands Frank Atzler, Institute Director at the Technical University of Dresden.

In order to achieve the strict CO2 reduction targets for the transport sector, a mandatory admixture of CO2-reducing reFuels to fossil fuel is urgently needed. "This admixture leads to a significant reduction in the actual CO2 emissions of all vehicles and can be implemented without technical concerns," says Thomas Koch, head of the Institute for Piston Engines at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

reFuels as a great sustainability opportunity

reFuels are also a great opportunity to open up a new sustainable economic sector. Above all, decoupling the electricity supply from its use through intermediate storage in the form of reFuels is another important advantage.

In addition, reFuels allow people on a budget to afford CO2-neutral, low-cost mobility with sufficient range in the long term.

Another important aspect is the resilience of the entire mobility system as well as the energy and automotive industries, which will also be further strengthened by reFuels. Lastly, reference is made to the People's Republic of China, where a designated reFuels strategy with state-of-the-art combustion engines is anchored in the long term.

About WKM

Research Association for Combustion Engines eV

Lyoner Strasse 18
60528 Frankfurt am Main
Germany
T +49 69 6603 1345