BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) said on Jan. 24 that it welcomes the European Commission’s proposal on a directive for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, but believe that it does not go far enough.
ePURE greatly supports the Commission’s proposal to introduce a binding requirement to harmonize labeling of fuel pumps and vehicles. Information on fuel quality, environmental aspects and vehicle compatibility will enhance consumer acceptance of ethanol and facilitate the introduction of E10 throughout Europe, which is a priority for the Commission.
“France has set the example: With clear and consumer-friendly labeling the E10 introduction was a smooth ride,” said Rob Vierhout, secretary general of ePURE.
ePURE welcomes that the Commission has taken action to support the build-up of an alternative fuels infrastructure but regrets that high ethanol blends to be used in cars and trucks are omitted. High ethanol blends such as E85, which is a 85% ethanol blend in petrol, is a clean fuel which significantly reduces GHG emissions and is a cost-effective way to meet the EU’s climate and energy targets, ePURE said. With comparatively small investments in infrastructure from pump holders, this fuel could be made widely available. E85 is already used for a number of years in several E.U. member states.
Furthermore, the proposal fails to create a level playing field with regard to the environmental performance of alternative fuels, ePURE said. Most of the emissions of alternative fuels occur up-stream, which is why measuring tailpipe emissions alone distorts the picture.
“We must stop comparing apples with oranges. Only a harmonized tool to measure GHG emissions will allow us to judge the environmental performance of the different fuel options,”. Vierhout said.
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