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Study: Fuel savings will pay for cost of new technology

Think that the cost of moving to vehicles with new technologies that meet strict emission goals will outweigh any potential fuel savings? A new report suggests it’s time to think again.

Cambridge Econometrics and Ricardo-AEA have published a study outlining that fuel savings will more than offset the cost of meeting 2020 CO2 regulations in Europe: namely 95g/km for cars; and 147g/km for vans. Fuel Savings

Its project took a phased approach – first looking at the impact of improving the efficiency of fossil fuel powered vehicles in which the efficiency gains are achieved through improvements such as engine downsizing, lightweighting and hybridisation. Then, in phase two, it examines the impact of the penetration of advanced powertrains: such as battery electric cars; fuel cell electric cars; and the idea of gradually replacing fossil fuels with energy from indigenous sources.

In its analysis it outlines how meeting 2020 targets would mean increasing spending on technologies: boosting employment but potentially adding as much as €1,000-€1,100 to the cost of the average new car in 2020.

However, it then goes on to suggest that these new technologies would lead to fuel savings of around €400 per year: meaning drivers would effectively break even after just three years behind the wheel. Indeed in the European Union, the cost of running and maintaining the car fleet would become €33-35billion lower each year by 2030, compared to a so-called “do nothing” scenario.

The report comments that even considering the highest potential costs of technology, the GDP impact would remain unchanged overall: while around 413,000 new jobs would be created.

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Paul Lucas

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