- "Tesla Visit 2" by oskay is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Why electric cars wont be annihilated by Synthetic Fuel

Porsche may think they are going to lead the future of driving with their fuels but I'm not too sure...

7w ago

Electric cars are a huge step in the right direction for the roadways of the future. With an operating cost lower than a gasoline-powered vehicle and the fact that all you need to get on the road is a power outlet, there’s no longer any excuse not to be driving green. Charging your vehicle is easy and convenient.; you can charge anywhere there is a power outlet and it’s very affordable. It’s also a lot of fun to drive an electric vehicle! But these considerations seem to have been silenced by the roar of conversation about synthetic fuels.

I am sure you are all aware of Porsche's recent announcement that they have developed a synthetic fuel which can run in a normal internal combustion engine. This may seem like the dream of any environmental petrol head but doing more research, I have found that it isn't as miraculous as it seems...

One issue with this new magic juice is that it still has the fundamental problem of hydrogen power: it uses a lot of energy to create in the first place. When we drill up dino juice from the ground, the earth itself has done the work by applying immense pressure for millions of years. When we create it our self, we have to provide the energy ourselves. You may say this is okay as we can generate that power using wind energy but this is flawed in two ways!

One reason is because we are then using electric energy which could be fed into the grid and used to save polar bears rather than using it to generate fuel. The main reason though is because through this process you have to transfer electric energy to petrol and then into kinetic energy or in the non plugin hybrids, back into electricity before transferring it into the turning of the wheels. This is extremely wasteful as it is like pouring water between one glass to another and then to another; each time a bit splashes out. If you instead used electric cars you are only pouring the water once cutting out all of the unnecessary glasses. You also don't have the excess heat given off by an engine. Some people may say this is pointless as the grid is still powered by oil but oil and coal made up less than 1% of the energy mix in 2020.

I don't wish to say that this incredible new development is entirely useless as it may help with the transfer from petrol. In fact it could be very useful in countries where the electric grid cannot keep up with the supply. And it could also help with the difficulty of storing large quantities of energy which has been the issue with electricity and hydrogen power. Electricity requires two different reservoirs at different heights and we haven't yet developed hydrogen power storage far enough.

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Comments (15)

  • Electric cars suck, stop trying to justify them if synthetic fuels are working then y'all can shut up now, don't tell me that eco-freaks are going to try and take away ICE cars even if they become more environmentally friendly than an electric garbage can

      1 month ago
  • Electrification will compliment fossil/synthetic fuels, folks will just have to be better educated in choosing the appropriate solution for their commuting and haulage needs. Horses for courses. EV/PHEVs for urban commute and last mile haulage, fossils/synthetic for long distance and remote/off-grid applications. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      1 month ago
    • There’s no mention of riding animals of burden in my response. Are you not familiar with the phrase “Horses for courses”? Top tip - It’s not the be taken literally. 🤦🏻‍♂️ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      The beef and dairy cattle industry is one of the main...

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        1 month ago
    • They taste pretty damn good though🥩

        1 month ago
  • everything will just be a synthetic fuel powered hybrid car in 30 years, it's the ideal solution so that's what will happen.

      1 month ago
  • Electric cars have a similar draw on the grid. Either way, with increased use of geothermal & fusion power, this will be a non-issue.

      1 month ago
  • It all depends on how reliable the electrical grids will be as its not just cars that will be charging up or using electricity as there will be motorbikes/scooters, trucks, buses, pleasure boats, household appliances, computers and tech, lighting, machinery in factories and businesses, trains, tractors and agricultural machinery, garden and grass maintenance machinery (both plug in and battery), construction equipment and quite possibly air craft. Issue is even if we have enough green energy so far we will still have to extend this again in the future. Porsche have been working with Siemens on this carbon capturing project and Siemens aren't technically a stranger to advancements in electrical technology and other technologies (remember the self driving classic Mustang at Goodwood) and they have done this project with Porsche as they can not only make carbon neutral synthetic fuels but create hydrogen as well. Other carbon capturing schemes are just capturing the carbon dioxide and pumping it into the ground, issue is that carbon dioxide will filter its way out of the ground through soil being dug up or cultivated. so what Porsche is doing is technically recycling the Carbon dioxide which does seem a good idea. If synthetic fuel was produced on a larger scale hybrid vehicles could still be sold and it would give car manufacturers and dealers a selection of different cars with different power sources for people to choose from, a bit like what Hyundai and Kia did with their Niro and Ioniq range as one customer might want a Hybrid car, one might want a full EV and one person might want a Hydrogen powered car, plus it could reduce the need to keep boosting the electrical grid to cope by selling cars that don't always need to be plugged in.

      1 month ago