Petrol and diesel will continue to supply the bulk of the road transport fuel market until at least 2030, according to the UK Petroleum Industry Association. In its evidence to the House of Commons Select Committe on Transport’s enquiry into ‘Cars of the Future’ UKPIA – which represents refiners and marketers of fuels in the UK, stated that the combination of new cleaner fuels and more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies would meet reduced C02 emissions targets for road transport, as well as delivering cleaner air, over the same period.

UKPIA forecasted that C02 emissions from road transport would fall over the next two decades, despite traffic growth. However, it warned that the road transport sector in the UK accounted for 21 per cent of C02 emissions, so all sectors would have to make efficiency gains to meet government targets. In its evidence, UKPIA also emphasised that a range of alternatives were starting to emerge, including biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells and power from biomass.

Malcolm Watson, technical director of UKPIA, said: “Petrol- and diesel-fuelled vehicles are capable of delivering reduced C02 in the medium term. The industry is keeping an open mind on a range of alternative fuels and many of our member companies are involved in producing them or engaged in collaborative research on new fuels and technologies.

“Key factors for the introduction of new fuels include ease of use for customers, minimal or no modification to vehicles, and the ability to accommodate fuels into the existing supply infrastructure.”