Bioethanol: fuel alcohol plays its future in Brussels

At the end of the summer holidays, negotiations on the revision of the EU regulation on CO2 emissions from light vehicles resumed with renewed vigor. Among the hot topics discussed was the environmental value of the biofuel known as E85 superethanol. The battle promises to be fought because these discussions are part of the European project of total decarbonization of the automotive sector by 2050.

The promoters of this fuel alcohol argue (supported by an IFP Énergies nouvelles study) that its combustion reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the gasoline engine of a plug-in hybrid car to the level of an electric car. A truly incredible statement for extreme environmental activists who remain opposed in principle to any kind of heat engine.

The plug-in hybrid still has a (small) hope of escaping the combustion engine ban in 2035

However, the argument seems to have made its way. As evidence, on June 29, the debates in Brussels ended with the unexpected decision of the European Union’s Environment Council to keep the principle of technological neutrality at the heart of the text. A way of saying that it would be very stupid to impose on all users and all manufacturers the single battery-powered electric car solution, if there were other solutions to achieve carbon neutrality.

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