Use of biofuels for sustainable road freight

The project FREIGHTVISION - Freight Transport FORESIGHT 2050 (2008-2010) developed a long-term vision and a robust and adaptive action plan both for transport and technology policy for sustainable long-distance freight transport.

In the next years and decades the European Union faces the following challenges in the freight sector :

  • Ensure and increase economic growth and
  • Deal with an increase of freight transport demand

while at the same time there is a need to reduce:

  • Environmental emissions (mainly CO2),
  • Dependency on fossil energy,
  • Accidents and
  • Avoid congestion and other negative impacts on the environment and population.

FREIGHTVISION covered road freight, rail freight, inland shipping and air freight.

Increased electrification of rail links is an option for sustainable freight transport. However, battery densities are not currently suitable for longer distance road freight. Hence a transport fuel is needed to act as an energy carrier. Although hydrogen is considered as a potential fuel for the future, in the medium term fossil fuels and biofuels (such as, BtL, BioDME) are the only realistic options for longer distance road freight. Biogas is also being developed as a a transport fuel for heavy goods vehicles.