E-fuel would be wasted on cars

Although adoption of green fuels is steadily increasing for road transport, new research suggests that electrofuels should be prioritised for ships and planes, most of which cannot use batteries to decarbonise and will generate huge demand for e-fuels.

The study by Ricardo Energy and Environment finds powering just a fraction of vehicles with e-fuels in 2050 would require new offshore windfarms covering an area the size of Denmark, as powering just 10 per cent of cars, vans and small trucks with hydrogen and 10 per cent with e-diesel would require 41 per cent more renewables in 2050 than if they were electric vehicles running on batteries.

If half of heavy-duty trucks were run on hydrogen and half on e-diesel, they would consume 151 per cent more renewables in 2050 than if they were directly electrified. Transport & Environment (T&E), which commissioned the research, said the figures show hydrogen and e-fuels need to be deployed first where there are no alternatives – in aviation and shipping.

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