The current figures for means of transport around the world – as well as for the heating market in the EU – are as follows:
Throughout the world, more than 1.4 billion vehicles are currently powered by conventional internal combustion engines. In addition, there are around 27,000 aircraft and 90,000 ships worldwide for which there is no sensible technical alternative in sight. These existing fleets will continue to form the basis for mobility in the coming decades. Moreover, around 20 million heating systems in the EU alone operate with conventional liquid and gaseous fuels. Given this reality, the sustainable solution for climate protection is to use carbon-neutral fuels.
One goal is to be able to use existing fleets in a climate-neutral way in the future. eFuels are a solution for all vehicles and means of transport, both now and in the future. eFuels are actually sustainable in two ways: Firstly, they are produced from renewable electricity and release only as much CO2 as was previously captured for the production of eFuels. Secondly, they can be used as liquid fuels in existing vehicles and infrastructures, including the global filling station network. eFuels can also be used in the chemical industry to operate in an almost climate-neutral manner.
By using eFuels – initially as an admixture to conventional fuels and combustibles through to their complete replacement – we are creating a climate-neutral solution for several sectors. For example, eFuels are suitable for all vehicles and means of transport, provide a climate-neutral alternative to conventional heating oil in the heating market, and can also be used as refinery feedstocks in the chemical industry.
Energy transition in road transport thanks to eFuels
This is the sector with the greatest potential for eFuels: they can be used as eGas – in compressed and liquid from – eDiesel and ePetrol (initially as an admixture to conventional fuels, ultimately as a replacement for them) as well as in all internal combustion engines.
A large part of the global vehicle population will continue to be powered by conventional petrol or diesel engines beyond 2030. This applies to passenger cars as well as light commercial vehicles – and above all, to road haulage, agricultural, forestry and construction industry vehicles for which electrification is not an economically or technically viable option. eFuels offer a climate-neutral solution here, as they can be reliably used in modern internal combustion engines and under very different geographical and climatic conditions throughout the world.
With eFuels, cars with conventional gas, diesel and petrol engines could already be CO2-neutral today. And there is a further advantage: by using the existing network of filling stations, refineries, pipelines, tank farms and tank lorries, eFuels can be introduced quickly to the market and thus made easily available to consumers. There is no need to build a new, expensive infrastructure. eFuels can therefore make a valuable contribution to significantly reducing CO2 emissions from road traffic.
By using eFuels, heavy construction and production machinery (e.g. for forestry and agriculture) that is currently fuelled by conventional fuels can continue to be used in a climate-neutral manner.
Shipping: entering a climate-friendly future with eFuels
Due to stricter limits and the ambitious climate protection goals of the IMO (a 50% CO2 reduction by 2050 as compared to 2008) and by the EU (FuelEU Maritime), the shipping industry has embarked on a path to a climate-friendly future. Currently, about 90% of world trade is transported by sea using large container ships. However, to transport large loads over long international routes, what is needed is an energy carrier with a low own weight and a high energy density. In the long term, it is hard to envisage an international maritime sector that doesn’t rely on climate-neutral fuels. Heavy fuel oil, which shipping uses almost exclusively at present, can be replaced by climate-neutral eFuels in future.
eFuels in aviation
Instead of relying on conventional kerosene, in future aircraft can be refuelled with climate-neutral eFuels, thus making climate-neutral flight possible. For aviation, where long distances and weight restrictions are often key factors, a basic requirement is that the fuel must have a high energy density.
As drop-in fuel, eFuels can easily replace conventional kerosene – initially as an admixture and then as a replacement. This does not require any adjustment to aviation engines.
eFuels instead of heating fuels
Substantial CO2 reductions can be achieved in the building sector and in home heating, initially by means of an admixture of greenhouse gas-neutral liquid and gaseous fuels to conventional heating fuel and then carrying on through to the complete replacement of conventional heating fuel.
This is all possible without any conversion costs, since eFuels can be used both in efficient modern oil-and-gas-powered condensing boilers and in connection with renewable energies. Homeowners can continue to use their existing modern heating systems while synthetic fuel contributes to climate protection.
eFuels in the
Mineral oil and fossil gas are not only used in the transport and heating markets: it’s also the most important raw material for the chemical industry. For example, German refineries supply more than 70% of the source materials for use in the chemical industry. This corresponds to about 20% of the total mineral oil demand in Germany. Should the use of mineral oil be dispensed with in the future, these raw materials for the chemical industry can only be produced synthetically using the production process for eFuels.
By using eFuels instead of fossil-based raw materials, entire industrial sectors can benefit from this climate-neutral conversion.
Two-wheelers and eFuels
Another sector with a large existing fleet are two-wheelers. In Europe, there were over 39 million motorcycles and scooters on the roads in 2019 (source: ACEM). Motorized two-wheelers with conventional combustion engines will still play an important role in the foreseeable future, especially since they will not disappear from European roads overnight. They are small, light and efficient vehicles used for daily commuting or by special services for emergencies. This is especially true for market segments that are the most difficult to electrify, such as leisure two-wheelers.
Pure eFuels also achieve pollutant reductionswithout the need for costly exhaust gas aftertreatment on the vehicle. But eFuels are also a necessary alternative for long ranges or in areas with a lack of infrastructure. The sector also employs over 300,000 people (source: ACEM), whose jobs can be protected with a technology-neutral approach. When combined with electric models, carbon-neutral fuels can address the existing stock, sustainably powering future models while protecting the existing production chain. This can reduce emissions and make the green transition socially acceptable.