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Project Description

Starting Date 10/2008 End Date 03/2011


The core objective of this project is to derive an action plan for implementing effective least-cost policy strategies (for the EU, specific countries & regions) to achieve a significant increase in innovative alternative fuels (AF) and corresponding alternative more efficient automotive technologies (AAMT) to head towards a sustainable individual & public transport system. AF comprise bioethanol, biodiesel, synthetic fuels, biogas, hydrogen,renewable electricity, LPG & natural gas, whilst AAMT include biofuel, fuel cell & electric vehicles and various types of hybrid systems as well as systems based on natural or biogas.

Derived objectives are:

  • Documentation of lessons learned from historic & current developments of AF & AAMT by means of assessing a broad set of case studies of pilot projectsat national & local level;
  • A critical analysis of AF & AAMT from an ecological, economic & energetic viewpoint;
  • Assessment of potentials & cost for AF and perspectives for technological improvements of AAMT;
  • Identification of drivers in currently implemented successful local concepts & national policies;
  • Recommendations for a successful transfer & dissemination of these initiatives to other regions;
  • Derivation of least-cost scenarios up to 2020 for meeting EU targets (e.g. 10% biofuels).

Initially a review of historical developments in private & public transport is conducted focussing on AF & AAMT and corresponding national policies. Next, applying a life-cycle analysis AF & AAMT are critically assessed with respect to their ecological, economic and energetic performance. To explore the future relevance, feedstock potentials of AF and technological prospects for AAMT are investigated. The heart of this project is an investigation of about 80 recently implemented successful case studies of pilot projects for marketing AF & AAMT from all over Europe and beyond. Finally, the outputs of all previous tasks will be linked to develop prospective scenarios which show in a dynamic context up to 2020 how different AF & AAMT may enter the market depending on the applied policy mixes, and depict the resulting cost & ecological impacts. Thereby, efficient & effective policy mixes will be identified to meet future targets as set at EU & national level with least cost for EU citizens. The major output will be a detailed action plan for practical implementation within Europe as a whole as well as for specific regions & countries describing step-by-step how to transfer & disseminate the most promising current local initiatives for AF & AAMT and how to accompany them with effective & efficient national or EU policies. Major results encompass a list of key drivers & lessons learned based on the comprehensive assessment of case studies, recommendations for R&D priority settings, and scenarios showing how to meet EU targets with least-cost for EU citizens.

Project Structure / Technical approach:

The rationale of this project lies in the pressing ecological and resource needs to convert the current system of individual transport to a sustainable one. This project will finally contribute to diversify energy sources used in transport and a stimulation of the demand for alternative fuels and clean vehicles. Moreover, a greater use of biofuels will be promoted in order to meet the targets set in the Biofuels Directive and the market for clean vehicles will be enlarged. Ultimatively, a switch to less energy-intensive modes in individual transport, a reduction of unnecessary demand for transport and an increase in energy efficiency of vehicles will be a result of the analyses in this project. Of specific relevance in this context is to transfer, apply and promote widely well-proven best practice, strategies and technologies. The overall work will be broken down in the eight work packages, see also Figure 1:

Figure1: Flow chart of the project ALTER-MOTIVE