Bentley & Porsche have a grand plan to save the combustion engine
Most manufacturers are desperately trying to accelerate their transition towards electric mobility but there are a few heroes that are trying to keep the ICE alive. Porsche recently made headlines with their gargantuan investment (in partnership with Siemens Energy and EXXON) to develop synthetic fuels and then there's Bentley, who is now considering developing eco fuel for their V8s and W12s.
In an interview with Autocar, Bentley engineering boss Matthias Rabe confirmed that the company is currently "looking more at sustainable fuels, either synthetic or bio-gen. We think the combustion engine will be around for a long time yet, and if that's the case, then we think there can be a significant environmental advantage from synthetic fuels".
"We will have more to say on this in time, but we're positive about this technology. We absolutely believe in e-fuels as a further step beside electromobility," Rabe said. "We will probably tell you more details on this. Right now the costs are high and we will have to install some processes, but in the long-term, why not?"
Global institutions, especially the EU, are pressuring car makers to go green as soon as possible but ICE cars still outsell EVs, by a considerable margin, and it doesn't look like that's about to change any time soon, chiefly because there are still enormous discrepancies between markets in terms of adoption, even within the same region. Let's take Europe (as a continent) as a prime example. There is a world of difference between, say, Norway and Switzerland, where electric cars are ubiquitous, and Serbia and Romania, which are still lagging behind.
Bentley has sold 200,000 vehicles in total since 1919 and while it is true that 75% of all Bentley cars ever sold were actually built in the last 18 years alone, the British luxury marque still qualifies as a small-batch manufacturer, which means they've got more time and space to test these fuels. Fingers crossed.