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eFuels for cars

The CO2 emission standards for new passenger cars and vans is one instrument for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. We are convinced that a balanced mix of strict but achievable CO2 emission standards and a level playing field for all emission reduction technologies will have the most positive impact on our climate. To determine a technology's true contribution to climate protection, a vehicle's carbon footprint must ideally be assessed based on its entire life cycle. Including renewable fuels in CO2 emission standards is a first step towards a more holistic and integrative climate approach to transport.



On 27th October 2022, EU lawmakers agreed on a new CO2 fleet regulation for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, adopting the target of reducing fleet limits by 100% to 0 gCO2/km by 2035. As CO2 emissions are measured exclusively at the tailpipe - without taking into account the CO2 footprint along the entire value chain - this decision is effectively a ban on combustion engines. This blurs the line between technology and fuel: as long as renewable fuels are not taken into account in the CO2 emission standards, the electric drivetrain will be the only option for car manufacturers and consumers alike. This would be a risky strategy for reaching the EU climate targets, and a one-sided policy for satisfying customers’ needs. With eFuels, passenger cars with combustion engines could continue to be operated in a climate-neutral way and thus contribute directly to the defossilisation of the existing fleet - a contribution we need to achieve climate neutrality.

This is also seen by the member states of the European Union, which have introduced recital 9a into the regulation. The recital calls on the Commission to present a proposal for internal combustion engines running on CO2-neutral fuels outside the fleet limits after 2035. The eFuel Alliance therefore calls on the Commission to present such a proposal in order not to leave the climate protection potential of eFuels for passenger cars unused.

Such consideration of renewable fuels is only possible through the introduction of a voluntary crediting system for renewable fuels, which has been developed on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

Introducing a Crediting System

  • would offer more climate neutral choices for customers such as hybrid vehicles,
  • would lead to more CO2 reduction in comparison to electric vehicles only,
  • is a first step towards a holistic life cycle assessment of vehicles,
  • can’t undermine effectiveness and efficiency of existing provisions because it is voluntary,
  • considers only additional amounts of renewable fuels,
  • retains responsibilities, limitations, and sustainability criteria of the fuel industry,
  • is based on established procedures and institutions to verify fuel amounts,
  • offers more solutions and a safety net for the automotive industry – but also for the climate.


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Our demands

  • We call on the Commission to present a proposal for the inclusion of internal combustion engines powered by CO2-neutral fuels.
  • The eFuel Alliance strongly supports the introduction of a voluntary crediting system for renewable fuels that can contribute unbureaucratically, flexibly, efficiently and directly to the reduction of emissions in road transport.
  • Any possibility to reduce emissions should be allowed in a technology-neutral way, in line with a holistic and successful climate policy.

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