Climate protection needs every powertrain- and this includes eFuels
While the world is currently focused on fighting the COVD-19 pandemic, it is vital that we do not lose concentration on a much longer-term challenge; that of climate change and CO2 reduction.
Road transport remains a key area of focus when it comes to CO2, and next week a group of like-minded businesses and associations will be publishing a report looking at how best to decarbonise this area.
The automotive sector has been working hard to reduce CO2 emissions in vehicles for many years, and has been largely successful in doing so. As the world’s largest automotive supplier, Bosch has played a very active role in this, developing everything from electric cars and bikes to hydrogen fuel cell trucks.
We are also developing ways of making our existing vehicles low-carbon. Bosch management vehicles already use an eFuel, “CARE” diesel, which is 100% renewable and synthesised mostly from by-products and waste materials. This has reduced CO2 emissions from our fleet by 65%.
Our experience tells us that to effectively reduce CO2, we need to tailor the technology to fit the vehicle. One size does not fit all. You would not take your children to school in a truck any more than you would supply a supermarket using a compact car- we match the vehicle to the use.
In the same way, different technologies are suitable for different vehicles. For Heavy Goods Vehicles or construction vehicles, for example, a hydrogen fuel cell is a more efficient option. For short-ranged driving, an electric car is better. There is no single route to decarbonisation but a series of tailored solutions that together deliver the result we all need.
The key to all of this is renewable energy. Electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells do not help reduce CO2 emissions if they are powered by, or synthesised by, fossil fuel electricity- this just moves the emissions from our homes and vehicles to the power station.
It’s not just about what comes out the back of a vehicle; we need to look at all CO2 emissions, from what we emit during construction and in producing the fuel, right the way through to decommissioning the vehicle at the end of its life.
Decarbonisation is not a fantasy or an empty slogan; the automotive industry is committed to it and is in the process of achieving it. We will do this, not through a single technology or a “silver bullet”, but by taking a broad, open-minded and holistic approach.
Dr. Uwe Gackstatter is President of the Bosch Powertrain Solutions division