He European Union wants to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines from the year 2035, except those that are powered exclusively by synthetic fuels. This exemption, admitted by the European authorities after pressure from the German government, has raised enormous controversy in recent weeks.
Although low volume manufacturers such as ferrari any Porsche They welcome the fact that they are allowed to continue marketing thermal vehicles. The vast majority of European groups (Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Stellantis, Volkswagen) do not believe that e-fuels will prevail due to their high cost and low energy efficiency.
However, some experts believe that this solution could be ideal for decarbonise cars already on the road. Stellantis herself is already studying this possibility. “The wide adoption of e-fuels would offer customers with existing internal combustion vehicles an easy and affordable option to decarbonize them.”
Will synthetic fuels be able to replace fossil fuels in the medium term? According to a report prepared by Concaweno: in the best possible scenario, e-fuels will barely be able to power 5 million of the 287 million vehicles that will be on the road in the European Union in 2035. That is, 1.75%.
Synthetic fuels are an inefficient solution
According to the entities that have produced the report, it is also a much less environmentally friendly solution than battery electric cars. If a vehicle is charged with electricity from renewable sources, an energy efficiency of 77% is achievedcompared to 16% for synthetic gasoline.
“When you put a synthetic fuel or any fuel into a combustion engine, where it has to take in air to burn the fuel, most of that air is nitrogen. That nitrogen then combines with oxygen and produces nitrogen oxides, which is one of the biggest air pollutants.”Explain Ismael Morales Lopezresponsible for communication and climate policies at Fundación Renovables.
alejandro bravoof Climate Strategy & Partners, adds that “a driver would have to spend 10,000 euros in five years to fill the tank of his car with these fuels”being therefore a very expensive alternative to direct electrification.