Porsche is working on synthetic fuels to prolong internal combustion cars
Rejoice! ICE cars could still have a future long after the last drop of dino juice is burned.
Porsche is making claims that they're currently developing carbon-neutral synthetic fuels as an alternative fuel source for current internal combustion vehicles. The esteemed sports car marque joins the ranks of other major companies such as Mazda and Audi in collectively striving towards new fuels that can power today's machines will little-to-no increase in carbon emissions.
In an interview with Evo magazine, Porsche VP of Motorsport an GT cars, Dr. Frank Walliser, claims Porsche's take on synthetic fuels will be available soon, and they will be compatible with all their current ICE cars with no modification whatsoever.
“Synthetic fuel is cleaner and there is no bi-product and when we start full production we expect a CO2 reduction of 85 percent," Dr. Walliser claims in the interview. "From a ‘well to wheel’ perspective - and you have to consider the well to wheel impact of all vehicles - this will be the same level of CO2 produced in the manufacture and use of an electric vehicle.”
Could carbon-neutral synthetic fuels save the internal combustion engine and safeguard the future of the cars we love?
The upcoming wave of synthetic "e-fuels" are essentially developed by combining liquid hydrogen with either the carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide from the atmosphere to create a synthetic methanol which can be further refined into a synthetic gas. The result is a fuel that, when burned, results in a minimal carbon footprint as the carbon emitted is carbon that already existed in the air. E-fuels can allegedly work seamlessly in gas engines as well as diesels and hybrids, and it can prove wildly beneficial in large-scale transportation where emissions are exponentially higher and electric power is less feasible such as shipping and aviation.
Mainstream automakers aren't the only ones to embrace this new fuel, and other companies such as parts manufacturer, Bosch, and niche hypercar manufacturer, Czinger, have both been gunning for e-fuels for some time.
Such a move could prove to be a miracle for drivers everywhere, enthusiast or otherwise, as it doesn't necessarily force them into relinquishing their ICE cars for an EV in the future. Synthetic fuels can prolong the existence of gas-burners for years to come and, more interestingly, can prolong the shelf life of an automaker's most desirable driver's cars. Vintage 911s, project tuners, and old-school muscle could potentially be running alongside the latest Teslas with the same engines but powered by a new-age fuel.
"Porsche are investing heavily in synthetic fuel production with the intention of throwing a lifeline to all those ICE fans out there... Well, the ones who own 911s and Caymans," explains Autotrader presenter, Rory Reid.
Porsche aims to initially have their synthetic e-fuels ready to power their motorsports programs and the Porsche Experience Centers. They will reportedly have 34,000 gallons ready for testing by 2022.
Hats off to Stuggart and others for working to keep the dream of reciprocating pistons alive.