Porsche is inching closer to synthetic fuel
Will eFuels save the ICE?
Porsche is doing really well with the Taycan - they can barely keep up with demand - and they’ll also launch an electric Macan next year, which confirms that they‘re serious about electric power. Mind you, they’re also serious about the internal combustion engine, and they’re trying to save it.
Porsche has been working on this for a while and about a year ago, the company teamed up with Siemens Energy to develop a new, almost carbon-neutral synthetic fuel to replace traditional petrol. They set up the Haru Oni manufacturing plant near Punta Arenas, Chile, where they’ve been attempting to produce synthetic fuel for a year and they’re now ready to test it on the road.
Siemens and Porsche will start by producing 34,000 gallons of synthetic fuel in 2022, and then they’ll increase production exponentially: 14.5 million gallons by 2024 and 145 million gallons by 2026 at a cost of around $7.6 per gallon.
"Porsche was founded with pioneering spirit [and we want to pioneer] renewable fuels. This fits in with our clear overall sustainability strategy," said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche. "It means that Porsche as a whole can be net CO2 neutral as early as 2030. Fuels produced with renewable energy can make a contribution to this.”
Steiner adds that the Porsche 911 will also benefit from this, even classic 911s, which can run on eFuels without requiring any mechanical modifications.
There’s a still long way to go because producing synthetic fuel is a complicated process: wind-powered electrolysers split water into oxygen and hydrogen; CO2 is then filtered from the air and combined with the hydrogen to produce synthetic methanol, which is then converted into eFuel. Porsche says eFuels will reduce carbon emissions in combustion engines by up to 90 percent. Fingers crossed.