Porsche begins production of an e-fuel that can provide a gas alternative

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Barbara Frenkel, member of the executive board for procurement at Porsche, (left) and Michael Steiner, member of the executive board for development and research of the 911 fuel with electric fuel, at a pilot plant in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Porsche AG

Porsche and several partners have launched a climate-neutral “e-fuel” product aimed at replacing gasoline in vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines.

Owned by a German automaker Volkswagen, said Tuesday that a pilot plant in Chile has begun commercial production of the alternative fuel. By mid-decade, Porsche plans to produce millions of gallons of electric fuel.

Porsche is looking to use motorsports and its fuel first Performance Experience Centers, Other applications will follow in the coming years. Ultimately, the fuel is sold to oil companies and others for distribution to consumers.

E-fuels are a type of synthetic methanol produced by a complex process using water, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Companies claim to enable nearly CO2-neutral operation of gas-powered engines. Vehicles still use oil to lubricate the engine.

During the pilot phase, Porsche expects to produce around 130,000 liters (34,342 US gallons) of e-fuel. It is planned to expand to about 55 million liters (14.5 million US gallons) by the middle of the decade and to about 550 million liters (145.3 million US gallons) two years later.

The Chilean plant was initially announced with Porsche in late 2020, the automaker said at the time $24 million investment for development Plant and power fuels. Partners include Chilean operating company High Innovative Fuels, Siemens’ renewable energy unit and others.

The Porsche IPO was completed at a valuation of $72 billion

Company officials say e-fuels can perform like gasoline, allowing vehicle owners to drive more environmentally friendly. They can use the same fuel infrastructure as gas, compared to the billion-dollar investments required to build a network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

But replacing traditional fossil fuels entirely with e-fuels would be difficult and very expensive. In 2021, about 134.83 billion gallons of finished motor gasoline were consumed in the U.S., an average of about 369 million gallons per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

However, the production of such fuel will continue to produce Porsche and other vehicles with a traditional engine like Porsche’s iconic 911 sports car, or instead, a new electric model. Although electric vehicles can provide better performance, Their driving dynamics Different from traditional machines.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Porsche officials celebrated the start of e-fuel production by filling a Porsche 911 with the first synthetic fuel produced on site.

“The potential for eFuels is huge. There are currently more than 1.3 billion combustion engine vehicles worldwide. Many of these will be on the road for decades, and eFuels offer a nearly carbon-neutral alternative for owners of existing cars.” Michael Steiner, Porsche’s Director of Research and Development, said in a release.

Steiner and others reiterated Tuesday that the development of the fuel would not change the company’s plans. 80% of its line Will have EVs by 2030.


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