Many of us are very excited about a fossil free future, especially in the transport area. A modern, futuristic and cheap electric car sounds just like a perfect solution. Especially if the circular economy is in place among car manufacturers. The good news is that we are heading towards that direction. The bad news is that we are far from a fully electrified transportation world. While living in the present, we are rather short on time to reach the ambitious CO2 reduction goals.
A country like Sweden has over 2.7 million gasoline driven cars and they will not disappear any soon. These cars issue different amounts on CO2 per km depending on the model, age, technology, etc. In average 35 tons over a life cycle of 200.000 km. Many of these cars will be around in 2030 when companies and countries should report very little to no CO2 emissions.
We will need to do something about the current fleet while we slowly transition to a more electrified world. We will need to count on different fossil free solutions. Our proposal is to make those cars fossil free right now. Our solution is to convert them to biogas.
Biogas is fossil free and can literally be done out of our own organic house waste, animal and agricultural waste. The CO2 avoidance is around 94% compared to gasoline.
To convert a car to biogas is not cheap yet, there are no incentives from the government, there is poor information about it and plenty of misleading negative arguments. It is a tough call. But on the positive side, if we convert about 1% of all gasoline cars in Sweden to biogas we can save as much as 442.000 tons of CO2 emissions with immediate effect (considering the cars are converted to biogas in the middle of their life cycle in average = 100.000 km) delivering 16 ton CO2 avoidance per car. 5% of the current fleet conversion would delivery 2.2M tons CO2 avoidance without counting on new car production emissions (electric or not).
Here is what we can do:
- The politicians need to act. A premium in cash would help people to take the decision. Lower taxes as well.
- More information: get the news out. Let’s show the numbers and the possibilities to the population.
- Get ready: we need more car shops ready to do the convertion. It will only happen if there is demand.
- Production: biogas production needs to be stimulated and developed.
- Infra-structure: more gas stations will be needed.
- Volume: once we get volume, prices will go down which will push demand up.
The dream electric car might get to your garage sooner or later, but meanwhile, let’s make the best out of our current fleet and make them fossil free.
By Vianei Hermes – Climate First