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EU e-Bus Adoption Limited Direct Diesel Impact with Valuable e-HDV Learning

Oct. 22 2018 — On October 18, the European Parliament’s (EP) Environment Committee backed a 35% cut in CO2 emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) by 2030 - the first CO2 standard for HDVs in the EU, which currently account for almost one quarter of the bloc’s transport-related emissions. In addition to tougher climate targets than those proposed by the European Commission (EC) in May, the EP proposal contains a mandate that 50% and 75% of new urban bus sales must have zero tailpipe emissions by 2025 and 2030 respectively. If passed and ratified, this legislation will mark the beginning of a swift transition in the EU urban bus fleet. This paper analyses the EU bus fleet, evaluates the potential for fuel switching and the implications for traditional petroleum product demand. Based on an estimated EU public transport diesel fleet of 180,000 in 2017, about 80 mb/d of diesel demand is vulnerable to being supplanted by e-buses.

Historic EU Fleet: Light and Heavy-Duty

Rising average fuel efficiency across the European auto market, backed by regulation, is expected to drive light-duty vehicle (LDV) fuel demand declines out to 2030 even as the number of vehicles on the road rises. In our analysis New EU Car/Van Emissions Standards: Implications for Fleets and Fuels, we forecast that EU passenger light-duty vehicle (PLDV) gasoline and diesel demand (ex biofuels) will fall from 1.28 and 1.39 MMB/D respectively in 2016 to 1.14 and 0.97 MMB/D in 2030 (as can be seen in the graphic to the right). This decline will be partially offset, in our current forecasts, by fuel demand growth in the European HDV segment, where fuel efficiency has remained relatively stable over the last decade, even while commercial vehicle numbers (buses, trucks and vans) have risen by just over 1% a year.

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