Biofuels

Made responsibly, used efficiently

New engine technologies are not the only way we are working to develop cleaner vehicles. We are also aiming to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by looking at low-carbon fuels, such as biofuels.

An alternative low carbon solution

Biofuels are a proven, viable energy source that can be made from many different renewable sources, even waste products. As a liquid alternative, they can be blended with petrol and diesel.

We are involved in the research of new biofuels that do not rely on using food crops, making sure that these fuels achieve the kind of performance quality motorists expect from conventional petrol and diesel.

Responsible biofuel production

Biofuels can be made from a wide variety of sources. Currently most production of so-called first generation biofuels uses raw materials derived from food crops. For example, sugar cane is used to make bioethanol, and biodiesel is produced from vegetable oils. They can be blended with petrol or diesel, in volumes specified by European standards. Toyota and Lexus vehicles made for the European market can use petrol blended with up to 10% bioethanol (E10, meeting standard EN228), or diesel blended with up to 7% biodiesel (B7, meeting standard EN590).

To move away from food crop-based biofuels we promote the use of new, second generation biofuels. These are produced from waste products such as straw or wood, and – in the longer term – even from algae. To make sure there is no negative impact on vehicle performance and customer satisfaction it is crucial that the quality of the final fuel is maintained.

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Our commitment to best practice
  1. Biofuels must be produced with minimum impact on the environment. We support this through our membership of the European Biofuels Technology Platform, calling for sustainable biofuel production methods and products.
  2. Biofuel production should not compete with food production. We promote the development of second generation biofuels made from waste materials from agriculture and forestry, gradually moving away from using food crops.
  3. Biofuels should not have a negative impact on a vehicle’s performance. We support the work of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), helping to draw up common fuel standards. We also want to make sure these standards are introduced simultaneously across different national markets, to secure consistent quality and customer satisfaction.
Future research and development

We have invested in research into new, second generation bioethanol made from wood and straw. Although we are only at an early stage in this work, we have identified potential big savings in greenhouse gases from this new fuel.

Through our work with the Alliance for Synthetic Fuels in Europe (ASFE), we are looking at bio-alternatives to diesel that can be made from a wide variety of sources, including biomass. These paraffinic fuels include Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO), which is being produced and sold commercially. HVO can be used in existing and future diesel engines, which will contribute to lowering their harmful emissions levels.

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