E-Fuel Production Has No Shot at Meeting EU Demand by 2035, Study Finds

E-fuel in a laboratory 6 photos
Photo: Transport & Environment
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E-fuels are presented as the solution that may keep internal combustion engines alive past 2035 in a sustainable fashion. However, a recent analysis made by the Transport & Environment (check PDF below), based on data provided by e-fuel manufacturers, shows that the chances of everyone running e-fuels in 2035 are incredibly low. In fact, just two percent of the cars on the road in Europe in 2035 will run on e-fuels.
While we cannot know for sure what is going to happen in 13 years' time, the makers of the analysis claim that manufacturers cannot ramp up production to a level that will come even close to actual demand. The analysis was focused on e-fuel suppliers in Europe, and it even included synthetic fuels that were not made without emissions. If just the latter were to exist, the new fuel would be in even shorter supply.

Importing e-fuels from other regions will not be an adequate solution to demand, as the capacity to manufacture climate-neutral e-fuels and transport them does not exist at this level. Moreover, it is believed that attempting to do so would delay efforts to decarbonize in developing countries.

According to estimates, the year 2035 would bring enough e-fuel production to supply just five million out of the projected 287 million vehicles that will be on Europe's roads at the time. Now, do not expect all 287 million vehicles to be ICE vehicles, as many of them will be EVs.

At the same time, you cannot expect to see 282 million EVs on European roads by 2035, and the rest to be ICE vehicles running on e-fuels.

Neither variant will be feasible, and reality will paint a different picture.
Yoann Gimbert, an e-mobility analyst at Transport&Environment, says that e-fuels are “'the Trojan horse for the fossil fuel industry.”

Moreover, the analyst claims that it would be better for planes and ships to use e-fuels instead of automobiles, as the former two cannot be electrified in an effort to decarbonize their fields.
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Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows various images of synthetic fuels.

 Download: A dorp of e-fuel in an ocean of oil (PDF)

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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