Fuel For Thought
January 2020

Worldwide Fuel Charter 2019 - Gasoline and Diesel Fuel

▪ Worldwide Fuel Charter 2019 - Gasoline and Diesel Fuel

The Worldwide Fuel Charter (WWFC) Committee released the 2019 edition of the Worldwide Fuel Charter with the following announcement:

On behalf of automobile and engine manufacturers from around the world, the WWFC Committee is pleased to present the 2019 edition of the Worldwide Fuel Charter for Gasoline and Diesel Fuel, 21 years after publishing the first edition.

This sixth edition of the WWFC updates the previous edition in several ways and presents each fuel in its own chapter for easier reading. The gasoline chapter introduces a new Category 6 to address anticipated vehicle and engine regulations for emission control and fuel efficiency in certain major markets.

Also, it introduces new metrics to help reduce particle emissions. Notably, in light of global progress on gasoline quality since the WWFC was first published more than two decades ago, we are pleased to announce the retirement of Category 1 gasoline as obsolete.

We have seen great progress in diesel fuel quality around the world, but some regions unfortunately still have unacceptably high sulphur levels, even exceeding 10,000 ppm in some markets. To encourage these regions to bring their fuel quality to cleaner and more modern specifications, we decided to retain Category 1 diesel fuel, but only as guidance to a transitional quality fuel.  

The Committee is serving notice, however, that it intends to retire Category 1 diesel fuel in a future edition. The second change to the diesel fuel specifications appears in Category 5, which has been modified to encourage greater use of alternative and synthetic diesel fuel blends.

In addition to this Charter, the WWFC Committee recently also published the first edition of the Worldwide Fuel Charter for Methane-based Transportation Fuels.

About the WWFC

The Worldwide Fuel Charter and Guidelines have two purposes. First of all, they inform policymakers and other interested parties how fuel quality can significantly affect engine and vehicle operation, durability and emissions performance throughout the year. Secondly, their purpose is to promote harmonised fuel quality worldwide in accordance with vehicle, engine and emission control system needs, for the benefit of consumers and the general environment.

For its next In Conversation issue ACFANEWS is preparing a deeper look into the key points of the 2019 WWFC release by discussing the main topics with Mr Paul Greening, Emissions & Fuels Director in the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) Policy Team.

▪ Bristol to become first UK city to drive out diesel cars as council approves ban

Bristol looks set to become the first city in the UK to ban diesel vehicles, as the city’s mayor has approved plans to make the city centre free of diesel vehicles by 2021. Citing a “moral, ecological and legal duty”, Mayor Marvin Rees has approved plans to stop diesel vehicles from entering the city centre. The proposal could see all such privately owned vehicles barred from entering the proposed clean air zone every day between 7am and 3pm.

The plans are set to come into force by March 2021, but the thousand-page report must first be sent to the Department for Transport and Defra before a full consultation with locals in 2020. “We have a moral, we have an ecological and we have a legal duty to clean up the air we breathe,” Mr Rees, the city’s Labour mayor since 2016, told a council cabinet meeting in November.  

The council has considered imposing a £60 penalty for motorists who break the ban but said the size of the fine is yet to be finalised. A car scrappage scheme has also been proposed in a bid to encourage road users to switch to less harmful alternatives.

Under the “hybrid” plans there would also be a wider clean air zone, where non-compliant commercial vehicles such as buses, taxis, and heavy goods vehicles would still be charged a fee to enter. The hybrid approach would reduce the number of lower income households directly affected by the measures, and allow the city to meet the government’s test for improved air quality by 2025, the proposals claim.

In 2018, the UK government lost a legal battle over its plans to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels and was ordered by the High Court to bring air pollution levels into accordance with legal limits as soon as possible. Bristol is one of several cities in the UK with illegal levels of nitrogen oxide, produced mostly by diesel vehicles. The city’s mayor said the council was planning a wider consultation to help reduce disruption.

▪ U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions rose in 2018 for the first year since 2014

Total U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018 rose to 5.27 billion metric tons, 2.7% more than its 2017 level. The primary reasons for the increase were higher natural gas-related emissions resulting from more extreme summer and winter weather and growth in transportation-related petroleum emissions, linked to a strong economy. U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions declined in 6 of the past 10 years and were 12% lower in 2018 than in 2005, according to a data series published in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Energy Review.

Coal-related CO2 emissions declined by 4% in 2018, making coal the only fossil fuel with lower CO2 emissions in 2018 compared with 2017. Total U.S. emissions from natural gas first surpassed emissions from coal in 2015. Natural gas consumption has increasingly displaced coal consumption in the electric power sector in recent years.

Natural gas consumption and emissions increased in 2018 largely because of colder winter and hotter summer weather. Natural gas is both the most prevalent home heating fuel and the most prevalent fuel used to generate electricity. Because both heating and cooling demand were higher in 2018, total natural gas emissions increased by 10%.

U.S. petroleum consumption also increased in 2018, contributing to a 1.9% increase in energy-related CO2 emissions from petroleum. Relatively strong economic growth spurred growth in diesel consumption, which resulted in a 6% increase in related CO2 emissions.

Total U.S. electricity generation increased by 3.6% in 2018, but electric power sector CO2 emissions only increased by 1.1%. In recent years, the U.S. electricity generation mix has shifted away from coal and toward natural gas and renewables. The shift from coal to natural gas lowers the CO2 emissions' intensity because natural gas produces lower emissions per unit of energy used than coal and because natural gas-fired generators typically use less energy than coal plants to generate each kilowatt-hour of electricity.

Electricity generation from renewable energy technologies has also increased, and most renewables do not directly emit CO2 as part of their electricity generation. In EIA’s emissions data series, emissions from biomass combustion, which do produce energy-related CO2, are excluded from reported energy-related emissions according to international convention.

The increase in residential and commercial sector CO2 emissions was largely caused by weather. Warmer summers increase electricity consumption for cooling, and colder winters increase electricity consumption for heating (as well as heating-related consumption of natural gas and petroleum). Residential CO2 emissions increased 7.4% and commercial sector CO2 emissions increased 2.8%.

From 2005 to 2018, the U.S. economy grew by 25% while U.S. energy consumption grew by 1%. Energy-related CO2 emissions as of 2018 were 12% lower than their 2005 levels. The economic growth that occurred in 2018 was 29% less carbon-intensive than it was in 2005, and the overall energy consumption in the United States was 13% less carbon-intensive.

▪ Fuel efficiency matters more to Middle East motorists than power

Rising fuel prices are among the foremost concerns weighing on the minds of young car drivers in the Middle East, according to results from a recent survey. Conducted by Ford Middle East over Twitter, the survey attracted 19,000 responses from 20-35 year old motorists in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.

More than 60 percent of respondents said fuel efficiency was the most important aspect to consider when making a car purchase. When asked why they would prioritise fuel efficiency, over 75 percent said because they were either concerned about rising fuel prices (50 percent) or that they wanted to save money (25 percent).

A third of respondents would consider technology and safety considerations important when making new car decisions, while 54 percent said powerful cars were more fun to drive because they were safer (24 percent) and because they are a status symbol (22 percent).

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