The ICE just won’t die

It’s been a good week for the internal combustion engine. Despite the EU bringing in a ban on fossil fuelled cars, Germany has pressed for, and gained, loopholes for e-fuels. Meanwhile Japanese giant Mazada has joined the Research Association of Biomass Innovation for Next Generation Automobile Fuels an organisation that already has Suzuki, Subaru, Daihatsu and Toyota onboard.

If the ICE is melting, it’s going to take its time over it.

The Research Association promotes technological research on the use of biomass as well as efficient production of bioethanol fuel for automobiles to realise a carbon-neutral, but not emissions free solution.

In Europe, Mazda has been a member of the eFuel Alliance since 2021. The Alliance brings together organisations and interested parties that support the goal of establishing and promoting CO2-neutral e-fuels and hydrogen as a credible and real contributor to reducing emissions in the transport sector.

Although e-fuels can be carbon neutral they still emit toxic particles: Transport and Environment (T&E) has published laboratory tests that found that e-fuels emitted just as much nitrogen oxides (NOx) as their fossil-fuel counterparts ¬and standard E10 petrol, and much more carbon monoxide. E-fuels also produce twice the amount of ammonia. While particle emissions were considerably reduced, more than two billion were still emitted for every kilometre driven.

The decision by the German and Japanese manufactures will lead to more emission, more expensive motoring, set back electric and hydrogen alternatives and add millions of extra vehicles on the road that will be obsolescent in a few years.

Alex Keynes, clean vehicles manager at T&E, said: “The higher cost of e-fuels will mean that only the wealthy could afford them while everyone else could be pushed into getting around the rules and using fossil petrol instead. Motorists and the climate will be the losers.”

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