Report of the European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels

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Transport fuel supply today, in particular to the road sector, is dominated by oil, which has proven reserves that are expected to last around 40 years. The combustion of mineral oil derived fuels gives rise to CO2 emissions and, despite the fact the fuel efficiency of new vehicles has been improving, so that these emit significantly less CO2 , total CO2 emissions from transport have increased by 24% from 1990 to 2008, representing 19.5% of total European Union (EU) greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU objective is an overall reduction of CO2 emissions of 80-95% by the year 2050, with respect to the 1990 level [3]. Decarbonisation of transport and the substitution of oil as transport fuel therefore have both the same time horizon of 2050. Improvement of transport efficiency and management of transport volumes are necessary to support the reduction of CO2 emissions while fossil fuels still dominate, and to enable finite renewable resources to meet the full energy demand from transport in the long term.

Alternative fuel options for substituting oil as energy source for propulsion in transport are:

  • Electricity/hydrogen, and biofuels (liquids) as the main options
  • Synthetic fuels as a technology bridge from fossil to biomass based fuels
  • Methane (natural gas and biomethane) as complementary fuels
  • LPG as supplement
EC Mobility and Transport
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