The quality of market diesel fuel is regulated by the EU Fuel Quality Directive, and it is important that customers are able to get high-quality fuels appropriate for their vehicles across the EU.
Today, the quality of market diesel fuel is regulated by the EU Fuel Quality Directive (Directive 2009/30/EC) which limits the content of Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) to 7% by volume (v/v, also known as "B7"). Standard EN590:2013 complements the Fuel Quality Directive and provides the full set of limits and parameters that European diesel fuel must fulfil at the point of sale. Now the French authorities plan to introduce a different market diesel grade as part of it's national renewable energy use plans. This would permit FAME blending up to 8% v/v (known as "B8").
All vehicles produced by ACEA members are compatible with using B7 diesel. ACEA does not support any action by a member state that would aim to introduce higher than 7% v/v FAME blending in general market diesel fuel. The French initiative on B8 is a major concern since it could lead to EU member states choosing to follow the same path, or even introducing different diesel grades in their territory. This would be contrary to the principles of the EU single market and customers would face a complex and unsatisfactory situation at filling pumps when they travel across the EU. While a 1% increase in the maximum allowed blending of FAME in diesel may not seem like much, the auto-industry continues to press for the quality of any diesel containing FAME, particularly winter performance, to be improved. Our customers should receive nothing less than high quality market fuels wherever he/she fills-up. In this respect, there are valid high-quality alternatives to using FAME in diesel.
ACEA (representing the European auto-industry) and FuelsEurope (representing the European fuel refining and marketing industry) share common views on the French initiative - see attached. As a general statement, our industries do not support the French initiative on B8. In addition, ACEA notes that:
- If France was to go ahead and introduce the B8 diesel fuel, all vehicle manufacturers that are members of ACEA could not guarantee that their vehicle warranties would be honoured if the vehicle was to use B8 and have any operational problems.
- Vehicle manufacturers would be forced to provide lists of their vehicle models that could not use B8 diesel fuel and customers would be advised to fill-up only with B7 diesel at pumps that display the EN590 label. It is assumed that if France were unfortunately to go ahead with this initiative, customers would have unrestricted access to todays B7 diesel and any new B8 filling pump would be distinctly and clearly marked for the benefit of customers.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 Europe-based automobile manufacturers. ACEA’s members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT SpA, Ford of Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, IVECO SpA, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Group, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group.
More information can be found on www.acea.be or @ACEA_eu.
About the EU automobile industry
- Some 12.7 million people - or 5% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
- The 3 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent 10.3% of EU's manufacturing employment.
- Motor vehicles account for €388 billion in tax contribution in the EU15.
- The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with €32.3 billion invested annually.
- The automotive sector contributes significantly to the EU trade balance with a €95 billion surplus.
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FuelsEurope represents with the EU institutions the interest of 43 companies operating refineries in the EU. Members account for almost 100% of EU petroleum refining capacity and more than 75% of EU motor fuel retail sales.
FuelsEurope aims to promote economically and environmentally sustainable refining, supply and use of petroleum products in the EU, by providing input and expert advice to the EU institutions, Member State Governments and the wider community and thus contributing in a constructive and pro-active way to the development and implementation of EU policies and regulations.
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