Porsche invests $ 24 million in ‘electronic fuels’ for traditional sports cars

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A Porsche 911 Speedster is presented at the Mondial de l’Automobile de Paris on October 4, 2018 in Paris.
Christophe Archambault | AFP | Getty Images
German automaker Porsche is investing around $ 24 million in the development of “electronic fuels,” which officials say is a climate-neutral fuel to replace gasoline in non-electric vehicles.
The production of such a fuel would allow the company and potentially other automakers to continue producing vehicles such as Porsche’s iconic 911 sports car with a traditional engine alongside, or rather a new one. electric model. While electric vehicles can offer exceptional performance, the driving dynamics of vehicles are different from that of traditional engines.

“We would love and love cars like the 911 with high-speed combustion engines or turbocharged engines, again like cars you could drive in the future without having the burden of a CO2 footprint, an unnecessary CO2 footprint.” Michael Steiner, director of research and development at Porsche, said Wednesday at a virtual media event.

Officials have said that electronic fuels can act like gasoline, allowing owners of current and conventional vehicles to drive more environmentally friendly. It could also use the same refueling infrastructure as current fuels rather than billions of investments for new infrastructure for electric vehicles.

The announcement does not change Porsche’s goal of electrifying half of all Porsche models sold by 2025, including all-electric and plug-in hybrids.

Porsche, owned by Volkswagen, announced the investment in partnership with Siemens’ renewable energy unit and other international companies such as energy company AME and oil company ENAP from Chile. It includes the development and implementation of a plant in Chile that is expected to produce “the world’s first integrated, commercial and industrial plant” for the manufacture of climate-neutral synthetic fuels, also known as electronic fuels.

The pilot project is expected to begin production of electronic fuel at the plant as early as 2022. Porsche is expected to be the primary customer for green fuel, starting with use in motorsport vehicles and owner experience centers.

The plant and process will be powered by renewable wind energy, which is why Chile was chosen for the plant with “excellent climatic conditions”.

Electronic fuels are produced by a complex process using water, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The CO2 is filtered from the air and combined with hydrogen from the water to produce synthetic methanol, officials say. The result is “renewable methanol,” which the companies say can be converted to gasoline using MTG (Methanol to Gasoline) technology to be licensed and supported by Exxon Mobil.

The only vehicle emissions would be produced carbon that was initially extracted from the air to make synthetic fuel. Vehicles would still need to use oil to lubricate the engine.

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