Position paper – Renewable Energy Use Directive (RED) and Fuel Quality Directive (FQD)

The members of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) are strongly committed to the de-fossilisation of road transport in support of the EU’s goal to become climate-neutral by 2050. That will not necessarily be achieved solely by the electrification of vehicles, so it is vital that ‘Fit for 55’ delivers in many areas, including the Renewable Energy Use Directive (RED).

Earlier this year, the European Commission published its ‘Fit for 55’ climate package that includes various proposals to revise EU legislation, including Regulation 2018/2001 (RED) setting 2030 overall and transport-specific targets for renewable energy use and Directive 98/70/EC – the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) – setting out health and environment-related liquid fuel quality parameters.

As this ACEA position paper explains, Europe’s auto industry is concerned by the lack of ambition to deliver a meaningful reduction in the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of renewable energy (fuels and electricity) by 2030, as well as the complete absence of any targets beyond 2030.

Targets in the RED must support the ambitious efforts of the vehicle manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions from new vehicles (cars, vans, trucks and buses) and at the same time enable the reduction of CO2 from the entire road transport fleet. To that end, this paper puts forward ACEA’s recommendations for the revision of the RED and the FQD.

Key messages

  1. Greater ambition for the 2030 GHG intensity reduction target in the RED is needed. 13% is not enough and ACEA believes much more can be done to deliver a greater quantity of low-carbon renewable fuels to the EU market by 2030 while at the same time, transport demand for (renewable) electricity will grow. A target of at least 40% by 2030 should be aimed for so that consumers and operators will have real options across the EU market to use sustainable low-carbon fuels.
  2. The EU auto industry is mystified why there is no long-term strategy that lays out targets beyond 2030 in the RED to give certainty to industry and investors. Road transport has declared it will move to 100% fossil free. To help achieve that, fossil-free fuels and energy must be the aim, at the latest by 2045.
  3. Energy integration and smart charging for vehicle batteries is an interesting concept, but auto makers have serious concerns with the proposals in the RED, as this paper explains.
  4. The proposal for the FQD offers practically nothing. ACEA strongly recommends that the focus on first-generation biodiesel (ie B10) is dropped in favour of a greater focus on support for already available types of renewable diesel fuels. The FQD must also be more widely revised to focus on ‘fuel quality’ in order to help deliver lower pollutant and CO2 emissions from all vehicles (old and new).
RED: Europe’s auto industry is concerned by the lack of ambition to deliver a meaningful reduction in the greenhouse gas intensity of renewable energy (fuels and electricity) by 2030, as well as the complete absence of any targets beyond 2030.

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