• Establish, in a transparent and objective manner, a consensual well-to-wheels energy use
and GHG emissions assessment of a wide range of automotive fuels and powertrains
relevant to Europe in 2010 and beyond.
• Consider the viability of each fuel pathway and estimate the associated macro-economic
• Have the outcome accepted as a reference by all relevant stakeholders.
The main conclusions and observations are summarised below. We have separated the points
pertaining to energy and GHG balance (in normal font) from additional points involving
feasibility, availability and costs (in italic).
A Well-to-Wheels analysis is the essential basis to assess the impact of future fuel and
- Both fuel production pathway and powertrain efficiency are key to GHG
emissions and energy use.
- A common methodology and data-set has been developed which provides a
basis for the evaluation of pathways. It can be updated as technologies evolve.
A shift to renewable/low fossil carbon routes may offer a significant GHG reduction
potential but generally requires more energy. The specific pathway is critical.
Results must further be evaluated in the context of volume potential, feasibility,
practicability, costs and customer acceptance of the pathways investigated.
- A shift to renewable/low carbon sources is currently expensive.
GHG emission reductions always entail costs but high cost does not always
result in large GHG reductions
No single fuel pathway offers a short term route to high volumes of “low carbon” fuel
Contributions from a number of technologies/routes will be needed
A wider variety of fuels may be expected in the market
Blends with conventional fuels and niche applications should be considered if
they can produce significant GHG reductions at reasonable cost.
Large scale production of synthetic fuels or hydrogen from coal or gas offers the
potential for GHG emissions reduction via CO2 capture and storage and this merits
- Advanced biofuels and hydrogen have a higher potential for substituting fossil fuels than
- High costs and the complexities around material collection, plant size, efficiency and
costs, are likely to be major hurdles for the large scale development of these processes.
- Transport applications may not maximize the GHG reduction potential of renewable