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Electryfing vehicle fleet could save 45 billion euro in external costs

What would happen to pollutants and their external costs if we replaced diesel-fuelled vehicles with a different technology? This has been evaluated in a recent report by CE Delft looking at the effects of both tank-to-wheel and well-to-wheel emissions on the climate, air pollution and noise in the year 2030 in Europe. They found that replacing diesel vehicles with fully electric vehicles is the most effective way of reducing emissions and external costs.

Only half as effective are plug-in hybrid vehicles, new Euro 6/ VI diesel vehicles and CNG/LNG. This also applies if well-to-wheel emissions are included. HVO and ethanol (E85) have limited benefits. The limited effect of HVO is because exhaust emissions remain much the same, but if HVO was produced from truly renewable sources it has substantial potential to reduce wellto-wheel emissions. In the case of noise, the only reduction was in engine noise for electric vehicles. When it comes to CO2 emissions, the biggest potential was for electric vehicles and HVO.

The total reduction in external costs could be as high as 45 billion euro, for a shift to fully electric vehicles. The authors also want to highlight that shifting from motorised transport to active travel by walking and biking could have a bigger impact, but was not included in this report.

CE Delft report, Fuel and drivetrain options for road transport, June 2022,


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