BERLIN – Synthetic (electronic) fuel vehicles offer minimal savings in CO2 emissions over their lifetime compared to conventional petrol or diesel vehicles.
This is the result of a study published by the Committee of Experts on Transport and the Environment (T&E). T&E is an umbrella organization of 53 European NGOs committed to sustainable transport, including Verkehrsclub Deutschland.
The study calculated emissions for the full life cycle of cars purchased in 2030, including manufacturing and operation. A car that runs on a mixture of e-fuel and gasoline will reduce its emissions by only 5 percent compared to conventional fuel.
The cleanliness of the electric car is 53 percent
On the other hand, an electric vehicle powered by a battery and electric motors only, would cause 78 percent fewer emissions during its life cycle than a combustion engine. The arithmetical basis for the CO2 footprint in the manufacture and operation of battery cars was the average electricity mix in the European Union, projected for 2030.
The analysis shows that even a purely electronic fuel car produced with renewable electricity will emit more during its life cycle than an electric car. An electric car will be 53 percent cleaner than a synthetic fuel internal combustion engine. This is mainly due to losses in the production of electronic fuels and an inefficient combustion engine.
According to the analysis, the battery-powered Volkswagen engine runs five times more electricity with the same amount of renewable energy than the e-fuel Volkswagen Golf. The BMW i4 can drive six times further than the BMW 4 Series with a combustion engine.
Thus T&E has opposed advocates of synthetic electronic fuels, who are fighting against the complete phase-out of the combustion engine. They see the use of e-fuels as a viable alternative, particularly for areas that do not have enough green electricity to power them and without sufficient income to purchase new e-cars. The FDP, for example, refuses to ban the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035 at the EU level. Liberals are demanding that combustion-engine vehicles be re-registered after 2035 if they can be shown to be fuel-only.
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