Volkswagen plans to reduce the carbon footprint of its fleet in Europe by 40% by 2030 by, for example, increasingly focusing on the development and sales of fully and partially electric vehicles.
As a further alternative, however, the German car maker is now also approving models with the latest-generation four-cylinder diesel engines for use with paraffinic fuels, as it works to also continue developing its existing range of combustion engines.
This is done in an effort to “respond to different customer needs while at the same time taking into account the internationally varying drive system preferences and the respective general conditions”.
The newly developed diesel fuels, containing bio-components, enable carbon dioxide (CO2) savings of between 70% and 95% compared with conventional diesel.
All Volkswagen models with four-cylinder diesel engines (TDI) delivered since the end of June 2021, are now approved for operation with paraffinic diesel fuels in accordance with European standard EN 15940.
“Through the use of environmentally friendly fuels in approved Volkswagen models, we are making it possible for customers throughout Europe to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions as soon as the fuel is locally available,” says Volkswagen petrol and diesel fuels head Professor Thomas Garbe.
“For example, the use of paraffinic fuels is a sensible additional option, particularly for companies with a mixed fleet made up of models with electric and conventional drives.”
Volkswagen says there is a wide range of paraffinic fuels available.
There are fuels that are produced from biological residual and waste materials such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), for example. These vegetable oils are converted into hydrocarbons by a reaction with hydrogen and can be added to the diesel fuel in any quantities.
They can also be used 100% as fuels, however.
Vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil can also be used for production of HVO, but the maximum environmental benefit is obtained only through the use of biological residual and waste materials such as used cooking oil, sawdust, and so forth.
Biofuels such as HVO are already available on the market, and it is likely that their share could increase to between 20% to 30% in the energy market for road transport in Europe within the next ten years, believes Volkswagen.
In addition, there will also be so-called e-fuels such as Power-to-Liquid (PtL) in future.
These are produced from regenerative sources using CO2 and electricity.
X-to-Liquid, Gas-to-Liquid, and PtL make use of the possibility of initially producing a synthesis gas from different raw materials, and then converting this to standard-compliant diesel fuel by means of the Fischer-Tropsch process.
Excess green energy can be used here in the production process.