Mazda Joins Battle to Save Clean ICE Technology

Mazda has become the first automaker to join a lobby group promoting CO2-neutral fuels that could see ICE being allowed to contribute in slowing global warning.

That’s because Europe’s eFuel Alliance envisages a campaign of lowering greenhouse gas emissions that not only includes electrification and hydrogen fuel cell technology but also explores the near-term benefits of using renewable, or bio, fuels in ever improving ICE technology. This approach mirrors that adopted by auto supplier giant Bosch which considers ICE a vital component in the battle to slow global warming.

The Alliance brings together organizations and interested parties that support the goal of establishing and promoting CO2-neutral e-fuels and hydrogen as a credible and real contributor to reducing emissions in the transport sector. Mazda says it has always been a strong advocate of a multi-solution approach, that combines different technologies, as the best way forward to reduce emissions.

Naturally, it sees electrification is a key pillar within the multi-solution strategy and by 2030 it promises all Mazda vehicles will be electrified but that many vehicles will continue to employ ICE technology. The automaker says the multi solution approach will see continued improvements in the efficiency of conventional powertrains, the electrification of the range, the wider uptake of renewable fuels as well as digital and connected tools that improve fuel efficiency.

Together with the alliance and its members, Mazda says it supports the establishment of a mechanism that takes into account the contribution of renewable and low-carbon fuels for emissions reduction of passenger cars. In a veiled reference to a growing threat that governments will try to ban all new ICE technology, the automaker also said it will contribute to the decision-making process now that the European Union is reviewing its climate legislation.

Wojciech Halarewicz, vice-president communications and public affairs at Mazda Motor Europe, said: “As an industry we must reduce emissions as much as possible. And to do this we must not ignore any of the available routes at our disposal. Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change are, by nature, a global and complex issue requiring an integrated approach. All sectors and industries must play their part and, above all, they must have the opportunity to share any positive options to achieving the climate goals.”

“We believe that with the necessary investment, CO2-neutral e-fuels and hydrogen will make a credible and real contribution to emissions reduction – not only for newly registered cars but for the current fleet. This would open up a second and faster route to achieving climate neutrality in transport, hand-in-hand with continued electrification. As the EU will review its regulation on CO2 standards for cars and vans later this year, this is the chance to make sure the new legislation enables both electric vehicles and vehicles running on CO2-neutral fuels to contribute to car manufacturers’ emissions reduction efforts.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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