Synthetic E-fuel could fill Electric Vehicle shoes in carbon emission reduction

Energy

According to German carmaker Porsche, the company is still in the early stages of developing synthetic fuel with Exxon Mobil. The game-changing technology splits water into hydrogen and oxygen then incorporates carbon dioxide into the hydrogen to create synthetic methanol. Methanol is converted to gasoline, propelling a vehicle at the same sustainability level as battery-powered cars.

Porsche has launched several electric vehicles in the past, and the motorsport and GT car branch is not ditching EVs for E-fuel powered cars. Instead, the company wants to augment the EVs with the new breed of synthetic fuel-powered machines. “Electric mobility continues to be the highest priority at Porsche. E-Fuels are a complement to electrification at Porsche, not a rival, “stated the company in a statement.

“Synthetic fuel is cleaner, and there is no byproduct, and when we start full production, we expect a CO2 reduction of 85 percent. It is important to consider the wheel-to-well emissions measurements when talking about EVs or E-Fuel,” said Frank Walliser, Vice President of Porsche motorsport and grand tourer (GT) cars.

“This will be the same level of CO2 produced in the manufacture and use of an electric vehicle,” added Walliser. “We like to think EVs are entirely guilt-free, but the real story is, there are emissions attached to electric cars long before they hit the road.” This fuel will make a traditional car emissions-free, just like battery-powered vehicles.

The synthetic fuel will be produced at a plant located in Southern Chile. The plant will carry out the methanol to gasoline process under permission from American gas company Exxon Mobil. Porsche has set aside approximately $24 million to fund this project.

In December last year, Porsche announced it was collaborating with German-born energy company Siemens Energy to produce synthetic fuel. According to Porsche, the E-Fuel will work on all its past and present vehicle generations, from the classic 911 to the latest model, the Porsche 911GT3.

Porsche aims to have about 130,000 litres of the synthetic fuel produced by Siemens Energy by 2022. “It’s a long road with huge investment, but we are sure that this is an important part of our global effort to reduce the CO2 impact of the transportation sector,” added Walliser. The sports car giant will start trials for the fuel at the South America production plant, with about 34,000 gallons of the synthetic fuel produced by 2022. “We are on track, together with our partners in South America. For sure, in 2022, it will be a very, very small volume for the first trials,” said Walliser.

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