Stellantis Tests e-Fuels on 28 Group ICE Powertrains

Stellantis has underlined its increasingly agnostic approach to its future powertrain strategy by announcing it is already finalizing testing of e-fuels on 28 engine families in the group.

The move comes just a fortnight after CEO Carlos Tavares told its inaugural Freedom of Mobility Forum that electrification is not on only way to clean up vehicle emissions. Now the automaker looks set on a course to continue providing consumers with ICE powered new products albeit not passenger vehicles.

It says the tests of e-fuels on vehicles built since 2014, meeting Euro 6 emission standards in Europe, will not affect its commitment to selling only BEV passenger cars in the region by the end of the decade. However, it remains to be seen how and where carbon neutral ICE will continue to be offered now that the European Union has scrapped its blanket ban on the technology that had been planned for 2035. Stellantis’s stance on electrification will also be tested in the light of what rival automakers will do with ICE technology not least the most agnostic player, Toyota.

Stellantis said its testing covers both gasoline and diesel engine families throughout its range that will remain in production until 2029. The comprehensive validation protocol includes tests on tailpipe emissions, starting, engine power, reliability endurance, oil dilution, fuel tank, fuel lines and filters, to name a few. The use of e-fuel in the up to 28 million vehicles in the Stellantis fleet has the potential to reduce up to 400 million tons of CO2 emissions in Europe from 2025 through 2050.
It said in a statement that its move is driven by a desire to speed up the reduction of carbon emissions by using e-fuels as “a drop-in replacement synthetic fuel made from captured atmospheric CO2 and renewable energy”. The mass adoption of e-fuels would offer customers with existing ICE vehicles an easy and affordable option to decarbonize their vehicles without needing to replace their vehicle, upgrade the engine fuel system or await a new infrastructure network.

It added that the production of e-fuels will allow the use of energy created from green sources, such as areas with wind belts and sun belts, and not from current fossil fuel extraction locations. Tavares said: “We are doubling down on our fight against global warming by testing carbon-neutral fuel as a complementary solution to our holistic decarbonization approach. While we remain steadfast in executing our aggressive electrification strategy, we must also find smart alternatives to address the CO2 emissions for the 1.3 billion existing ICE cars. By working to make sure our Stellantis engines are e-fuels friendly, we are aiming at giving our customers another tool in the fight against global warming and one that can have an almost immediate impact. It is also another action we are taking that is well aligned with our commitment to be carbon neutral by 2038.”

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

One comment

  1. Avatar Brian Edward 30th May 2023 @ 7:13 pm

    If every company went in big on e-fuels, the price would come down. If they can get governments to reduce taxes on e-fuels, as compared to fossil fuels, that could make them competitive, at least in markets with high fuel taxes, like Europe. The US under taxes fuels, so the US would need to increase taxes to make e-fuels anywhere near competitive.
    Since it is just carbon neutral, it is NOT a solution but it is a huge improvement over fossil fuels. Combined with the robust plans to continue to reduce emissions, it can help us get there sooner. E-fuels can also make all the vehicles currently in existence, and all of them built in the nest 12 years, able to be used for a full life without contributing to Greenhouse Gas Emissions. It is what we will run our classic cars on in the distant future. Bravo to Stellantis for taking this step.

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