Many Europeans spent their summer holidays traveling by car, and are now back on the road for their regular workday commutes. They are understandably concerned about how to balance the need to get where they’re going with the urgent need to fight climate change. With transport accounting for one-fifth of Europe’s emissions, immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the sector are essential to meet the objective of keeping global warming below 2 degrees.
Fortunately, solutions already exist. Every time they fill up their tank European motorists can choose a low-carbon fuel such as renewable ethanol, which reduces GHG by up to 70% compared to fossil fuel and can be mixed with regular petrol to improve its combustion and environmental properties.
Unlike many other alternatives to fossil fuels, renewable ethanol is an immediate, clean and cost-effective solution to reduce emissions. Renewable ethanol is alcohol, produced from crops such as cereals or sugar beet, or wastes and residues. It is widely available across the EU in petrol mixed with up to 5%, and in several countries in a blend called E10, with up to 10% ethanol. The vast majority of cars built after the year 2000 are compatible with E10 and there is no need to adapt vehicles to obtain instant benefits with such blends. Since 2016, E10 has been the European reference fuel. In fact, all new cars are not only compatible but they are optimized to run on E10.
EU Petrol Market
Sources: EEA (2018), Eurostat (2018), National Progress Reports, ePURE calculation
In addition to climate change mitigation, ethanol production brings benefits to society in terms of rural development, job creation, and increased energy independence. In other words, ethanol fuel is the right choice for a responsible road trip.