Prins present at roundtable on Autogas at European Parliament

At a breakfast roundtable on Autogas at the European Parliament on November 18th, MEP and respected scientist, Vittorio Prodi, informed around 50 people from the EU institutions, the automotive industry, the Brussels media, and the wider policy-making community of the need to increase the use of Autogas and other gaseous fuels as Europe makes the transition to more sustainable transport.

“The increased presence of immediately available gaseous fuels such as LPG and natural gas can play an important role in Europe’s transport challenge, helping to cut C02 and pollutant emissions today and forming a bridge towards other technologies that will emerge in the future.”, he noted.

The roundtable featured a number of important speakers, including Samuele Furfari from the European Commission who alluded to some of the shortcomings past policy-makers in noting that, “For too long we have been searching for a miracle solution while perhaps overlooking alternatives with the capacity to deliver immediate results. Diversifying the fuel mix to include more gaseous fuels would also enhance energy security and reduce the need to import conventional fuels from abroad.”

Bart van Aerle speaks to the European Parliament

After Mr. Prodi opened the meeting, Dr. Jeffrey Seisler, CEO of Clean Fuels Consulting, stressed the need for the EU to find the right balance of fuels available in the marketplace to allow the customer to decide which fuel is best for them. His sentiments were echoed by Paul Voss of the AEGPL who noted that giving people a chance to do something for the environment and their wallet at the time is an attractive prospect for European consumers.

Mr. Voss pointed out that many Member States are already taking advantage of gaseous fuels, but that the EU needed to pay more attention to their potential contribution – “The EU, in its dual role as legislator and disseminator of best practices, can play a key role in transforming these fragmented initiatives into a coherent and effective strategy”, he said.

Arnaud Duvielguerbigny, standing in for Jan Pauwels of the Belgian Ministry for Transport and Mobility, showed one such initiative by a Member State in the form of a television advertisement aired in Belgium demonstrating the benefits of Autogas.

The final speaker of the morning, Bart Van Aerle, Managing Director of fuel systems supplier Prins, highlighted the increased consumer take-up of Autogas over the past two years and, to some amusement among the delegates, suggested that MEPs who supported this would not only help the environment but also continue to win votes.

Transport, particularly the reduction of the associated emissions, will be an issue of increasing prominence and importance throughout the life-cycle of the incoming European Parliament and Commission. Enhancing the profile and visibility of Autogas at this early stage should help ensure that its potential to help address Europe’s transport, energy, and environmental challenges is both recognized and exploited.

Article in The Parliament Magazine about roundtable discussion