Volkswagen and Shell push biofuels as centerpiece of EU emissions strategy


Even as it insists that Europe should be a leader in electromobility, Volkswagen is collaborating with oil giant Shell to argue that EU planners should rely heavily on biofuels to meet proposed emissions targets.

Executives from the two industrial giants recently released a study that proposes greater use of biofuels as an alternative to increasing fuel efficiency standards.

According to EU sources cited by The Guardian, the package VW and Shell are proposing would mean the end of meaningful regulatory action on car emissions for more than a decade.

In the Guardian’s view, the new study, “Integrated Fuels and Vehicles Roadmap to 2030+,” written by Munich consulting firm Roland Berger, relies on pessimistic assumptions about the costs of fuel efficiency improvements, and optimistic ones about greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels. A recent EU study found the dirtiest biofuels three times more polluting than diesel.

Ulrich Eichhorn, VW’s head of R&D, said that more efficient vehicles were “building blocks” for the future, but that “higher shares” for biofuels would be needed in the meantime. He told a meeting in Brussels: “Modern diesel and natural gas engines will absolutely be required to deliver CO2 targets until 2020 and they will also contribute to further reductions going on from there.”

Dutch oil giant Shell, which has invested heavily in Brazilian ethanol, thinks governments should be subsidizing biofuels. “Liquid fuels will remain essential…as internal combustion engines are expected to continue powering most transport for many years to come,” said Shell’s VP for Downstream Strategy, Colin Crooks. “New fuels will require financial support from governments to support technology development and reduce investment risk.”


Source: The Guardian

  • Matjaž Ciglar

    No one should subsidise any liquid fuel.
    Plants efficiency to produce burnable stuff from sun is in best case 4% most of it is below 1% efficiency. With production of biofuels very big chunk of that energy is spend in process. ICE average efficiency is 20% so in best case scenario only 0,25% of available sun energy is used for moving cars around.
    For comparison simple PV (15% efficiency) coupled with EV (95% efficiency) including conversion and transmission looses is still way above 10%.
    So EV is 40 times more efficient than ICE using sun energy!

    Arable land to be used for cars fuel, while PV can be installed on roofs and parking lots is pure nonsense sported by outdated and dirty industry.

    • info

      Arable land used for solar just as bad

    • info

      Reality is global solar still in infancy and unreliable for non sunshine countries. I have max panels ont roof and they barely power an eco house let alone charge a 60kwh EV battery pack.

      Transmission losses using grid at best 8%, ac to dc can be as bad as 30% lost. Yes we have to move technology on bur we are 99% dependant on diesel for global trade from water pumps in Africa to ships that get 50% thermodynamic efficiency with 75000 hp each to take goods we order on amazon. Batteries aren’t there yet with energy density.

      Love EVs but doubt some EV-angelists!

  • Ed Stanko

    VW’s shenanigans are laughable. All of their EV buzz is just fluff. They are a diesel car company, with a questionable future at best.

  • stuart21

    “recent EU study found the dirtiest biofuels three times more polluting than diesel”

    X – diesel = fossil, bio = sustainable.