This study examines the production costs of a range of transport fuels and energy carriers under varying crude oil price assumptions and technology market maturation levels. An engineering “bottom-up” approach is used to estimate the effect of the input cost of oil and of various technological assumptions on the finished price of these fuels. In total, the production costs of 20 fuels are examined for crude oil prices between USD 60 and USD 150 per barrel.
Some fuel pathways can be competitive with oil as their production, transport and storage technology matures, and as oil price increases. Rising oil prices will offer new opportunities to switch to alternative fuels for transport, to diversify the energy mix of the transport sector, and to reduce the exposure of the whole system to price volatility and potential distuption of supply.
In a time of uncertainty about the leading vehicle technology to decarbonize the transport sector, looking at the fuel cost brings key information to be considered to keep mobility affordable yet sustainable.