In the short and medium-term, ethanol is a low-hanging fruit for a number of countries, as it is able to further goals of decarbonising existing petrol vehicle fleets quickly and effectively. For low level blends in petrol, ethanol can be a drop-in solution, requiring no special vehicle fleet, no adaptation in vehicle technology or the structure of fuel distribution. Meanwhile, adapting vehicles to run on higher blends is technically feasible, easily scalable, low in cost compared to EVs, and also benefits from existing infrastructure, without stressing national electric grids. Such adaptation to existing vehicles requires regulation, on the part of governments, while for new vehicles, it requires material compatibility and optimisation, on the part of automakers. Lifecycle analyses have shown that FFVs using sugar-crops-based ethanol offer significant emissions reductions versus conventional petrol fuels, demonstrating that a diverse set of pathways towards greener transportation are already available.
Many climate-change mitigation plans incorporate the rapid adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) as the central pillar of their transport decarbonisation efforts. However, while many countries have pledged to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles, even the most optimistic models project that a substantial global replacement of the internal combustion vehicle fleet will take many decades to complete.
For the motorcar industry today, the concern is whether their investments into alternative fuels such as ethanol will be considered part of the solution to decarbonise emissions by governments around the world. Automakers have shown that they are able to deliver creative solutions, including FFVs in the early 2000’s, but only when there is certainty that technologies are able to compete effectively with each other, by taking a “well-to-wheel” approach.
Introduction 1 Ethanol in motorcars 1.1 The rationale behind ethanol use 1.1.1 Ethanol as valuable oxygenate 1.1.2 Sustainability and feedstock suitability 1.2 Considerations for ethanol by automakers 1.3 Overview of global fuel ethanol inclusion 1.3.1 United States 1.3.2 Brazil 1.3.3 Europe 1.3.4 India 1.4 Ethanol conclusions 2 Electrification of Vehicles 2.1 Types of electric vehicles 2.1.1 Battery Electric Vehicles and Electric Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles 2.1.2 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2.2 Electric vehicle trends 31 2.3 Electric vehicle policy support 2.4 EV challenges and prospects 2.4.1 Driving range and energy densities 2.4.2 Costs 2.4.3 Fast charging and power capability 2.4.4 Lifespan and recycling of batteries 2.4.5 Performance in different environmental conditions and safety 2.4.6 Infrastructure, policies, electricity demand and source 3 Conclusion