Germany insisting on inclusion of e-fuels as ICE option before signing off on Europe’s ban on ICE
03 March 2023
Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport Dr. Volker Wissing has called on the European Commission to enable the use of e-fuels in order to achieve the climate goals. More specifically, Wissing said that Germany would not agree to the proposed compromise between the EU Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament to ban sales of new internal combustion engines by 2035 without such a carve-out for e-fuels. (Earlier post.)
Wissing said that Germany will only agree to the agreement if the Commission makes a proposal on how vehicles with internal combustion engines running only on e-fuels can be registered even after 2035.
The German government plans to approve the sales of 100% synthetic fuels at fuel stations. So far, the sales of synthetic fuels, such as e-fuels and renewable diesel, in Germany have been largely limited to fuel blends in which these fuels have represented about 26 percent maximum.
The sales of unblended 100% renewable diesel has previously only been allowed in specific segments, such as in non-road vehicles and public transportation. The planned approval by the government would in the near future allow 100% renewable diesel to be sold and used unblended in all segments in Germany.
Adoption of the deal is in question without Germany’s support, given that Poland and Bulgaria do not want the end of the combustion engine, and Italy also wants to abstain, according to German Green MEP Michael Bloss.
German government would be better off in many aspects if they had the backbone to sack the FDP from their coalition and build a minority government.
Posted by: yoatmon | 03 March 2023 at 08:11 AM
E-fuels, to save and promote ICEs, are no remedial option for climate change. "Green" E-fuels can be produced only via electrolysis of water to obtain hydrogen which is then chemically bound with the CO2 derived from the atmosphere. These processes are energy intensive. The products resulting from the combustion of E-fuels in ICEs are not as dirty as those from fossil fuels but the resulting volumetric CO2 content in the atmosphere remains unchanged. CO2 is the "greenhouse gas" which is the volatile part in our atmosphere enhancing climate change. Carbon reduction and not carbon neutrality is the target to avoid the dangers of climate change.
E-fuels are far off from contributing anything positive to the alarming situation of climate change. If an ICE consumes 5 Ltrs. E-fuel/100km that equates to 50kWh for the production of that fuel amount. That equals to approx. 50% of the energy consumption per month of an average household. Of all the energy invested in the production chain of E-fuels only 10 to 15% would be finally used. That is a irresponsible use / waste of valuable energy. I.O.W approx. 5 times as much energy is invested in E-fuels compared to BEVs. Can we really afford to waste so much energy just to satisfy the whims of fossil monopolies and ICE manufacturers???
Posted by: yoatmon | 04 March 2023 at 05:45 AM
Physics dictates that liquid hydrocarbons will always have higher energy density than anything but aluminum air fuel cells with lithium air coming close as well. Neither of those technologies support tens of thousands of use cycles nor 5 minute refueling times. Germany is right keep synthetic fuels and hybrid plus range extended EV on the playing field its never a all or nothing solution BEV are not a panacea regardless of how big a boner the purists have for them.
Gasoline is 24MJ/L
Diesel is 35-40MJ/L
There will always be some percentage of the market that has very high mileage requirements per trip and rapid fueling as well. I personally drive 38,000+ miles per year with trips of 600+ miles each way every two to three weeks. I had a model S Tesla along with a F250 diesel. I took that model S 90D from DFW to Houston,Midland,New Orleans and Mobile AL every two/3 weeks. It was impractical to stop twice to New Orleans and three times to Mobile just to get there assuming the super chargers were immediately available which a few times there was an hour plus wait times. I ended up just taking that F250 with dual tanks and a 1000 mile range. I can drive 10+ hours in the seat and cover 700+ miles at a time. The client payed for the diesel and the cost per mile so I didn't care other than once the numbers where run the cost per mile allowed for deduction under fedgov rules didn't cover the depreciation in the value of the asset fully. So the F250 was no longer used for those long-range trips. This meant I either had to rent a ICE sedan or take the S...so the Model S was replaced with a Kia GDI that gets 45 mpg on the hwy and has a 700+ mile range. It goes door to door to Mobile without stopping a distance of 620 miles with fuel left in the tank at either end. It refuels in under 5 min and will go another 700 miles until the fuel light comes on with 3-4 gallons still in the tank.
I won't even consider an EV again until it can go 700 miles and refuel in under 5 min while not drastically reducing its pack life. This KIA will go 500,000 miles or more in life it gets synthetic lubricants in the engine and transmission @ the severe service short cycle intervals both of which will easily allow a 500K total use interval. My last ICE truck a F150 V8 went 445,000 before I traded it for the diesel F250 which will go a million miles just like every other commercial grade diesel with proper maintenance levels.
I want KIA to make a K5 plug in hybrid with a full electric drive unit power train and a 3cyl high compression ICE range extender with a LiFePO4 blade cell pack @20kwh capacity for a 50 mile 60% DOD range. I have solar panels on my roof that put out 10kw this why I leased that Model S it was fueled locally for free by my panels that make well more electricity than my home uses in all months but July or August even then Texas power rates were 5 cents per kwh for a corporate rate and still are under 9 c if you have a LLC and a TIN number to qualify for corporate rates. All of my local driving would be solar electric but that K5 plug in would handle my 600+ mile trips without having to stop every 250 miles for 30 min. Are you listening Kia produce that level of hybrid and I will buy one tomorrow.
Posted by: JamesDo88039200 | 04 March 2023 at 12:25 PM
"...E-fuels are far off from contributing anything positive to the alarming situation of climate change...."
Actually, synthetic fuels ("efuels") can be carbon negative when using the FT process, if the system is appropriately configured.
There are no pathways for EVs to be carbon negative, even if electricity is produced exclusively by renewables, as far as I know.
Posted by: Carl | 04 March 2023 at 04:31 PM
The logical conclusion, as confronted with an inevitable situation, is: are you prepared to contribute to a possible solution at a certain expense or are your priorities based on selfishness no matter what the outcome in the end effect may be?
Posted by: yoatmon | 05 March 2023 at 06:46 AM