Porsche revealed their plans to drive forward the development of climate-neutral fuels known as eFuels. These eFuels would be made by producing hydrogen, capturing carbon from the air (using renewable energy) and combining the two elements to create methanol which is then transformed into a substitute for gasoline. In terms of their basic properties, eFuels are no different from kerosene, diesel or petrol. However, they can ideally be a climate-neutral fuel. Keeping greenhouse emissions in check will require making synthetic fuel using wind and solar energy, so the factories would primarily be located in suitable geographic locations. The tech behind the renewable wind-energy will be provided by Siemens Energy, as well as the Proton Exchange Membrane used for the electrolysis (separating hydrogen from oxygen).
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume outlined the motive for the project: “Their advantages lie in their ease of application: eFuels can be used in combustion engines and plug-in hybrids, and can make use of the existing network of filling stations.” However, if it is so straightforward, why doesn’t your local Shell station offer Porsche-branded pseudo-gasoline yet? “The only problem we still have is price, which is still higher than 10 dollars [£7.60] per litre” Blume explained.
Porsche’s development of synthetic fuels is on course to start trials in 2022. The idea is that everybody will be able to use them, with no impact on performance. This synthetic fuel could be used in all of Porsche’s current internal combustion engines, including the all-new 992-generation GT3 and keeping classics running. Looking ahead, every car Porsche builds could leave the factory with a full tank of synthetic fuel.
Porsche claims the eFuel will produce the same level of CO2 produced in the manufacture and use of an electric vehicle despite using a traditional internal combustion engine and an 85% reduction in CO2 output. “Emissions are way better than current pump fuel, with less particulates and less NOx produced; synthetic fuels have between eight to ten components whereas petrol today has 30-40 and not all of them are welcome” Dr Walliser explained.
Above all of this, Porsche will remain committed to electrifying its lineup, predicting that at least 50% of the cars they sell globally will be either hybrid or electric by 2025. “What is important to state is that synthetic fuels will not substitute electromobility; They’re good and meaningful supplements” Blume clarified. “A very realistic prognosis is that our synthetic fuel could be available to the public in about 10 years.” Blume concluded.