FVV gives insights into sustainable pathways to climate neutral mobility 14.10.2022

How long does it take to get there?

Diversity is also essential in science, if we are not only to think openly about the future, but also to make it possible both efficiently and sustainably. Technology bans should be viewed critically, as they delay rather than accelerate the shift towards climate-neutral propulsion. A new FVV study on future fuels has analysed how to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality in the European transport sector as early as possible, taking into account the ramp-up potential of different technology paths.

Text: Petra Tutsch

The European automotive industry faces many challenges - rising energy prices, raw material shortages and supply chain disruptions, to name a few - and the future is more than uncertain. Against this background, is it wise to »put all our eggs in one basket«? Wouldn't greater diversification bring advantages with regard to the sustainability and competitiveness of future powertrain technologies?

These were the questions addressed by a comprehensive study on the ›Transformation of mobility in to the GHG-neutral post-fossil age‹ published in October 2021. The results of a complementary study were now presented in Würzburg at the FVV Transfer + Networking Event.

It contains four important features:

  • Stronger focus on the road sector
  • Adding new combinations of powertrain and greenhouse gas-neutral energy sources (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and methanol-to-gasoline drop-in fuel).
  • Consideration of the technical ramp-up potential of defossilised transformation pathways for European road transport (EU27+UK)
  • Consideration of a technology mix that best supports the pathway to greenhouse gas neutrality.

In particular, this study includes achievable ramp-ups of new vehicle technologies, as well as power generation and distribution infrastructure and raw material supply on a quantitative basis. The ramp-up potential is of high importance to stay within the remaining theoretical GHG budget assumed for Europe in accordance with the Paris climate targets.

The new model-based optimisation and analytical framework used in this study explicitly addresses the question how cumulated GHG emissions in the EU27+UK road sector could be minimised. Results show that a mix of carbon-neutral transformation pathways can speed up the transition to GHG neutrality significantly compared to scenarios with only one technology option. A mix of technologies thereby reduces cumulated GHG emissions over time significantly.

The full final report will be available in six to eight weeks.