How quickly can we be sustainable?
Diversity is also essential in science, so that we can not only think openly about the future, but also enable an efficient and sustainable future. A critical view must be taken of banning specific technologies, as this is more likely to delay than accelerate the transition to climate-neutral powertrains. Another FVV study on the fuels of the future has analysed how greenhouse gas neutrality can be achieved as quickly as possible in the European transportation sector, taking the ramp-up potential of individual technology pathways into account.
The European automotive industry is facing many challenges - rising energy prices, shortages of raw materials and interrupted supply chains to name just a few. And the future is more than uncertain. Given these conditions, is it really a good idea to »put all our eggs in one basket«? Would greater diversification not produce benefits in terms of the sustainability and competitiveness of future powertrain technologies?
These were the questions examined in an extensive study on the ›Transformation of mobility in to the GHG-neutral post-fossil age‹ published in October 2021 (FVV Future Fuels Study - Part IV). The results of a complementary study (Part IVb) were now presented at the FVV Transfer + Networking Event in Würzburg.
Dr Ulrich Kramer presented the results of the new study in Würzburg, on 6 October 2022, at the FVV Transfer + Networking Event.
It contains four key features:
- Greater focus on the road sector
- Additions of new combinations of powertrains and greenhouse gas-neutral energy carriers (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and methanol-to-gasoline (petrol) drop-in fuel).
- Consideration of the technical ramp-up potential of non-fossil transformation pathways for European road transport (EU27+UK)
- Consideration of a technology mix that provides optimum support for the transition to greenhouse gas neutrality.
In particular, the supplementary study takes into consideration the achievable ramp-ups of new vehicle technologies, the power generation and distribution infrastructure, and the raw material supply on a quantitative basis. The ramp-up potential of non-fossil transformation pathways is highly significant in order to adhere to the remaining theoretical greenhouse gas budget that applies in Europe in line with the Paris climate goals..
The new model-based optimisation and analysis framework applied in this study explicitly looks at the question of how the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions in the road sector in the EU27+UK could be minimised. The results show that a mix of carbon-neutral transformation pathways can considerably accelerate the transition to greenhouse gas neutrality compared to scenarios with a single technology option. A technology mix thus significantly reduces the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions over time.
In the context of this study, a scenario focussing on BEV (Battery Electric Vehicles with domestic energy sourcing) as the only GHG-neutral powertrain technology available yields 39% higher cumulated GHG emissions by 2050 compared to a mix of GHG-neutral powertrain technologies. This further translates in the single technology BEV pathway only achieving a 76 % defosssilisation rate of the EU27+UK vehicle stock by 2050 – while the GHG optimised mixed technology scenario achieves carbon-neutrality (100% defossilisation rate) by the year 2039 already.
The results are available in two formats: the complete full version of the study and a short report. You can download both documents at the bottom of the page - together with a PowerPoint presentation and our new transfer publication for the FVV Transfer + Networking Event in Würzburg.
Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Kramer (Ford-Werke GmbH)
Dr. rer. pol. David Bothe (Frontier Economics Ltd.)
Dr. Christoph Gatzen (Frontier Economics Ltd.)
André Pfannenschmidt (Frontier Economics Ltd.)
Carolin Baum (Frontier Economics Ltd.)
Fabian Schrogl (Frontier Economics Ltd.)
Osama Mahmood (Frontier Economics Ltd.)