Why the EU needs renewable ethanol: Cars that run on petrol still dominate sales


The latest figures from the European automotive industry reflect the growing trend in sales of electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2022 – but also show that petrol and hybrid vehicles still make up the vast majority of new passenger cars in the EU.

The takeaway is clear: the EU needs a range of emissions-reduction solutions, including renewable liquid fuels such as ethanol, to meet its climate ambitions. That’s because even with the gradual electrification of the EU auto fleet, cars that run on some kind of liquid fuel – including plug-in hybrids (PHEV), hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV) and petrol-driven internal-combustion-engine vehicles (ICE) – will be on Europe’s roads for a long time to come.

Renewable ethanol, which in the case of ePURE members reduces emissions on average by more than 75% compared to fossil petrol, is the most immediate, sustainable and cost-effective and socially inclusive solution to decarbonizing these cars.

According to ACEA, in the first quarter of 2022, the market share of hybrid electric vehicles expanded, accounting for 25.1% of total passenger car sales in the European Union (up from 20.9% in Q1 2021).

Battery electric vehicles almost doubled their market share compared to the same period last year – now making up 10.0% of all sales – surpassing plug-in hybrids, which account for 8.9% of the EU market.

Petrol cars accounted for 36% of new sales. Together with mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids, nearly 70% of new cars use petrol. Renewable ethanol is the best way to reduce emissions from these vehicles.

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