Hello friends! It’s great to be back after a bit of a break. Here’s my monthly take on the five most interesting developments in future fuels and vehicles trends. Items I selected include:
1. Lloyd’s Register (LR) and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS): Zero Emission Vessels: Transition Pathways ―To achieve at least a 50% reduction in CO2 by 2050 and to be on course for a CO2 pathway consistent with the Paris Agreement, zero-emission vessels (ZEVs) need to be entering the fleet around 2030, and a significant portion of new-builds will have to be zero emission to compensate for the non-zero emissions of the existing fleet. This study, launched by LR and UMAS this week in a joint webinar, looks at what needs to happen over the next three decades to make this happen. While the authors say it’s way too early to settle on any particular pathway, there are some common features in all the pathways explored:
Figure 1: Illustrative Desired Shipping Fuel Mix in 2050
Pathways considered included (1) renewable electricity-based marine fuels in the form of hydrogen, ammonia, e-methanol, e-gas oil and electricity for use in batteries; (2) bioenergy; (3) an equal mix of the two which would mean a ramp-up of renewable electricity-based marine fuels and bio-based fuels. However, alongside these fuels, also hydrogen and ammonia produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS) gradually enter the fuel mix. Figure 2 shows how this might evolve between 2020-2050.
Figure 2: Energy Source and Marine Fuels Mix Assumed in Equal Mix Pathway
Also interesting were the following comments in the analysis:
If anyone would like a link to the webinar, please email me at email@example.com and I’d be happy to provide it. Future Fuel Outlook members can read more about the IMO’s Initial Strategy here.
2. Automotive News Europe: German Auto Industry Lobby Vows to Fight ‘Crusade’ Against the Car ― Sure, the German auto industry is leading the way with new investments in EVs (clients can read more about that here), but they’re done sitting back when it comes to the car ban issue that has proliferated across the EU and other parts of the world post Dieselgate. “The VDA will raise its voice in 2019 ‘louder than last year,’ VDA President Bernhard Mattes said. ‘We don’t need a crusade against the car.'” They will have to raise it above a whisper to counter the trend, and frankly, they should have done that a long time ago. Car bans continue. This month Sweden announced that it would ban the sale of gasoline and diesel cars after 2030. Meantime, Germany’s Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer urged the European Commission in a letter to review its stringent limits on nitrogen dioxide pollution, saying some doctors are questioning their health merits. Around the same time, and probably not a coincidence, Volkwagen announced that shares of incoming orders for diesel vehicles rose from 39% in 2017 to 43% in 2018.
3. Quartz: Automakers May Have Completely Overestimated How Many People Want Electric Cars ―This article references a recent analysis from Deloitte which expects 21 million battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to roll off assembly lines over the next decade as EV prices fall below comparable gasoline and diesel models by 2024. “Our projections suggest that supply will vastly outweigh consumer demand by approximately 14 million units over the next decade,” the firm said. Further the article notes a Deloitte comment that the number of auto manufacturers (traditional and new) getting into the space is “not sustainable.” It will be interesting to see whether this comes to pass, and if it looks eminent, if policymakers will step in to shore up the glut.
4. Forbes: The Seven Most Promising Aviation Biofuels ― More accurately, this article is about the seven most promising aviation biofuels feedstocks. According to panelists at the Atlantic Council’s recent Global Energy Forum they include the following: Dwarf Saltwort, energy cane, waste gas (LanzaTech), lumber waste, logging waste, municipal solid waste and sustainably grown palm oil. Palm oil, even if the most sustainably produced will be a challenge for the industry in regions like EU under the strictures of the revised Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) and NGO (and some policymaker) advocacy calling for a complete ban.
5. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): Road Pricing Can Fix Traffic and Inequities ― A new study from NRDC and the firm TransForm, “Pricing Roads, Advancing Equity”, pulls together best practices and case studies to help cities and transportation agencies evaluate the social equity—or in most cases, inequity—of their transportation systems. It also offers guidance on how the use of congestion pricing and reinvesting in mobility can improve social equity in transportation. I believe this will be a growing issue in the U.S. that NRDC and other NGOs will push.
“As worsening traffic congestion, rising climate emissions, and growth in urban areas confound communities across the country, we know city leaders will turn more and more to congestion pricing as a powerful and proven solution. It’s essential that they not only think about equity implications, but make improving equity an explicit project goal and put fairness at the center of program design. With this new resource, we’re confident many more cities can move forward with pricing in their toolkit for unclogging our streets, cleaning our air and enhancing mobility for those who need it most.”–NRDC and TransForm
Tammy Klein is a consultant and strategic advisor providing market and policy intelligence and analysis on transportation fuels to the auto and oil industries, governments, and NGOs. She writes and advises on petroleum fuels, biofuels, alternative fuels, automotive fuels, and fuels policy.