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Old 27-03-2023, 11:30   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Malmo Sweden
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E fuels

Yesterday the EU came to a deal around the decarbonisation of transport. Originally the EU had been thinking to ban the internal combustion engine for road transport, which almost certainly would have been shortly followed by a ban of such engines in recreational craft. However, Germany dug its heels in and insisted that ICE's that run on E-fuel (hydrocarbons produced using hydrogen, carbon dioxide and renewable/nuclear electricity) continue to be type approved. The final compromise was that the EU allowed for ICE's for domestic and recreational use to continue to be sold after 2035 but only if they could only be fuelled by E-fuels. At present E-diesel is 7 euro a litre but the IEA is predicting that the price should fall to about 1 euro a litre by 2050 which makes price comparable with the EU diesel price today.

So with all this I'm starting to think that maybe the present rush to electric propulsion might not be all its cracked up to be, even for sailing craft. Why invest in a very expensive battery powered propulsion alternative with limited range, when you could repower with an E-fuel engine with a couple of big alternators on it for less money and a lot more range. More running costs and more service requirements, but range, hot water and plentiful electricity might tip the balance.

I had been thinking that my repower would be to electric propulsion. Now I'm rethinking and don't know what to hitch my wagon to. What does the forum think the future tech of choice for recreational craft is?
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Old 27-03-2023, 12:17   #2
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Re: E fuels

Everyone's case is different. E fuels may be "green", and if the electricity required to make them is 100% renewable might not have a large carbon footprint, but they are very inefficient compared to a pure electric motor. That is, you will be using a whole lot more electricity to make that fuel, than to just run with an electric motor.

For some, the more expensive to run E-Fuel might be better, for others the cheaper electricity might be better. It's tough to predict, but in 2035, the range of electric vehicles will be much better, and they will charge much faster.
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