What do we see?
Considering that almost all truck transport and the majority of car transport still relies on diesel vehicles, it comes as no surprise that diesel is still the fuel with the highest consumption rate (76%). Consumption increased between 2013 and 2015, peaking at 185 PJ, then decreased again to 172 PJ in 2018. The growth in consumption could be related to economic evolution, while the decrease could be due to a drop in the popularity of diesel cars. Since there is now a ban on diesel cars in major Flemish cities, consumption is expected to decrease further. However, due to the increasing number of trucks, diesel consumption will remain significant.
The second most used fuel type is petrol (18%). Its consumption slightly decreased at the beginning of the reporting period and then increased from 2013 onwards, to reach a consumption value of 39 PJ in 2018. Since most passenger cars use petrol, the trend for petrol consumption roughly follows the same as for car kilometres driven. We can link this consumption to the number of cars and their use intensity.
Finally, there are still the alternative vehicles that run on biofuels with a much lower consumption (5%) and cars that run on CNG and LPG, which have negligible consumption. Although the trend is increasing, these vehicles currently only make up 3.8% of the total number of cars. A higher share of biofuels could reduce our material and carbon footprints, so we still have a long way to go.
What’s the aim?
The use and production of fuels make up the largest amount of material consumed during the lifecycle of vehicles. Consequently, a reduction in the use of fossil fuels such as diesel and petrol would mean a lower material and carbon footprint and lower emissions. This, in combination with an increase in alternative types of fuel, could reduce the impact of fuel use in road transport. However, the production of alternative and non-fossil fuels such as biofuels and electricity has an impact too. This needs to be studied more carefully for future CE monitoring.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator measures the type and amount of fuel used for road transport, expressed in petajoules. Data on the amount of fossil fuels used for road transport in Flanders is provided by the Flemish Environmental Report (MIRA). The data refers to the energy balance of Flanders, provided by VITO, and takes into account both passenger and freight transport vehicles.