A tailor-made strategy

The right Europe-wide strategy will accelerate the use of alternative fuels by road transport as long as they can be tailored for each transport sector.

Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, who have evaluated the barriers within Europe against the generalised introduction of alternative fuels in road transport, said: ‘It would generally be necessary to develop a strategy that includes a combination of policies for different sectors, as well as measures aimed to increase their efficiency.’

Their study shows that for new fuels to succeed, it is necessary for governments to act on technology.

The researchers added: ‘This can be achieved by the development of a useful regulatory system that promotes vehicle manufacturers to make the investments required for the adaptation to the new fuels.

‘Like most cases in which a new technology appears on the market, it calls for a bigger investment until the technology earns the trust of manufacturers and consumers.’

National and international political agendas have set clear priorities to reduce the use of energy in transport as well as their resulting emissions, and tackle the problems caused by oil scarcity and the escalating prices.

This study has incorporated participating teams from 14 EU countries, including the University of Leuven, along with the researchers from the Centro de Investigación del Transporte – TRANSyT of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.