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Automotive LPG, or Autogas, already powers over 7,800,000 passenger cars around Europe and, with the right policies in place, it can help the EU achieve its road transport goals

 

Road BlurredAmid growing concerns over climate change, the environment and energy prices, automotive fuel is under the spotlight as never before. Citizens are demanding secure access to affordable fuel, while decision-makers are confronted with the challenge of balancing this demand against the broader imperative of promoting responsible consumption and sustainable development. There is a clear need for immediately available alternative fuels with the qualities to keep Europeans moving while driving Europe along the road towards a cleaner, lower carbon and more diverse road transport fuel mix.

It is revealing to note that LPG, which currently powers 3% of the passenger car fleet, is Europe's most widely used alternative fuel. AEGPL is convinced that (a) Europe's near total reliance on conventional fuels (petrol and diesel) is environmentally and strategically unsustainable and (b) the European Union should play a leading role in fostering the more widespread emergence of alternatives. As an active participant in the recently established Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels, AEGPL supports the Commission's efforts to address this challenge and stresses the need for a balance between policies aimed at promoting medium-to-long-term solutions such as electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles with immediately available alternatives that can actually contribute to affecting change between today and 2020.

European, national and local policy-makers looking to address the twin objectives of protecting human health and the environment can and should exploit the immediately available benefits of Autogas to the greatest extent possible. National and local-level initiatives in various Member States have already yielded promising results. Independent econometric analysis carried out by Transport and Mobility Leuven has demonstrated that, if Autogas meets 10% of Europe's passenger car fuel mix by 2020, this would generate 350 million tonnes of C02 savings, as well as significant reductions in pollutant emissions. Facilitating the emergence of Autogas would therefore make an ideal complement to other long-term policy tracks aimed at establishing an energy mix for Europe that is at once sustainable, secure and competitive.

AEGPL's Key Messages for Policy-Makers on Road Transport:

  • More must be done to reduce the contribution of the transport sector to climate change and air pollution.

  • The current European transport fuel mix is excessively dependent on conventional fuels, and must be rapidly diversified through a combination of rapid uptake of immediately available alternative fuels and parallel efforts to develop longer term solutions such as electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

  • Autogas is currently Europe's most widely used alternative fuel and is best-placed to contribute to the pursuit of the EU's emission reduction objectives for 2020.
 
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