Electric vehicles emit less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over their lifetimes than diesel engine cars, a new independent study has found. Even when powered by the most carbon intensive electricity in Europe, EVs will emit less and those emissions decrease further as more renewable electricity enters the grid, according to an analysis of the lifecycle emissions of the vehicles conducted by VUB university in Brussels for T&E.
Europe’s biofuels policies do increase global food prices. That’s the wide scientific consensus, according to a review of more than 100 economic modelling studies of the impact on food prices from increased demand for biofuels made from food crops. Increased demand for biodiesel has driven the price of vegetable oils in the EU, such as rapeseed, palm oil, soy and sunflower, up 171% per exajoule (EJ) of biodiesel produced, according to the analysis by consultancy Cerulogy for BirdLife Europe and T&E.
With Paris going to host the 2024 Olympic games, it’s ramping up plans for a shared and autonomous vehicle future. Sometimes seen as a 19th century pre-car capital, the city of light could become the world’s first post-car metropolis. By 2020 all diesel cars will be banned and, by the time the games roll into town, driverless taxis should be making ride after ride – freeing up precious parking space.
A strategy for turning Europe’s car fleet from fossil-fuel-powered to electric has been outlined in a new study for T&E. It suggests the continent must set a target of electric cars making up more than a half of all new vehicles sold by 2030, and that to achieve this joint efforts must now begin between the EU, member states and industry.
The average car sits unused for more than 90% of the time, carries on average just one and a half people and costs on average €6,500 a year to own and run. Each car occupies 150m2 of urban land and still this is not enough – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.
Crop-based biofuels were seen as a way to reduce the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels and decarbonise the transport sector. But emerging evidence about negative environmental and climate impacts of these biofuels has led to the European Commission proposing to gradually phase-out the policy support in the EU. Industry stakeholders argue that this would adversely affect past investments and put jobs at risk.
The move to effectively disqualify high-emitting biofuels – mainly food-based biodiesel such as palm oil or rapeseed – from use in Europe’s cars and trucks, proposed today by the lead MEP on biofuels policy reform, has been welcomed by green transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). EU countries would, for the first time, have to account for the indirect land-use change (ILUC) emissions of biofuels under the Renewable Energy Directive , according to the draft report for the European Parliament’s environment committee.
Can Europe fall in love with biofuels again? This was the question a big biofuels producer asked in his Valentine’s letter to EU policy makers. The occasion for his love letter was, of course, the European Commission’s proposed reform of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), which regulates biofuels in Europe.
Some of Europe’s key auto industry players including Alstom, Siemens and Tesla teamed up with T&E and other NGOs last week to urge EU policymakers and governments to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles across the continent. The group has also produced a video highlighting the potential for electromobility.
EU governments and MEPs are under pressure to consider phasing out the use of vegetable oils for biofuels by as early as 2020 after the European Parliament backed the move in a non-binding resolution this week. The Council and Parliament are currently drafting their common positions on reform of the Renewable Energy Directive, which will decide Europe’s biofuels policy up to 2030.