Porsche has plans to start trials in 2022 that could save its high-performance petrol cars from extinction.
The German sports car manufacturer has developed its own synthetic fuel – or eFuel – that it says would reduce CO2 emissions from combustion engines by as much as 85 percent.
The fuel does not require any modification to a car and is compatible with both current and older vehicles – and it could clean existing engines just as clean as electric cars, if you take into account the carbon footprint created during production and delivery.
Porsche’s greener fuel will be tested in 2022: German sports car manufacturer has talked about developing its own synthetic fuel that will reduce the CO2 impact of its cars
Since last year, Porsche has been working with Siemens Energy and other international companies to develop and execute a pilot project in Chile designed to create the world’s first integrated, industrial-scale commercial plant for making synthetic climate neutral fuels. supply.
Last week, Dr Frank Walliser, the company’s head of motorsport, provided an update on plans ahead of the unveiling of the new £ 123,100 Porsche 911 GT3.
With a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine that can rev up to 9,000 rpm and produce a maximum of 503 horsepower, it’s no slouch: it accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 199 mph.
But while it may move quickly, using traditional unleaded gas won’t be particularly good for the planet. Porsche cites CO2 emissions of 283 to 304 g / km, depending on the car’s specifications.
With strict CO2 targets to be met by manufacturers and the impending ban on new gasoline and diesel cars in several countries – coming from 2030 in the UK – this means an end to Porsche’s combustion engine sports cars.
Porsche has already started its own transition to electric vehicles, with the launch of the impressive Taycan – priced from £ 70,690 in the UK – from 2019.
The fuel does not require any modification to a car and is compatible with both current and older vehicles – and could clean existing engines as clean as electric cars if you take into account the carbon footprint created during production and delivery
Porsche wants to extend the availability of its iconic 911 sports car for as long as possible in the face of stricter emissions restrictions for manufacturers and the threat of bans on new gasoline and diesel models within a decade.
However, Walliser says the brand will begin trials next year with its own synthetic fuel, which Porsche believes can make its powerful gasoline cars as fuel-efficient as an electric car.
He explained that the company, which is working with partners in South America, will “ definitely ” begin trials in 2022, although they will be “ very small volume ” initially.
“It is a long way with huge investments, but we are sure it is an important part of our global effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector,” he added.
In December, the company announced a new partnership with energy companies Siemens Energy, AME and Enel and the Chilean petroleum company ENAP.
The goal is to build a factory in Chile specifically for the commercial production of synthetic fuels, which will use the site’s windy environment to produce eFuels using wind energy.
Porsche is partnering with Siemens Energy and Power Companies to develop and create a plant in Chile (pictured) that would create the ‘world’s first integrated industrial-scale commercial plant for making synthetic climate neutral fuels’.
When operational in 2022, Porsche says it could produce 55 million liters of greener synthetic fuel by 2024, and ten times that amount two years later.
Commenting on last year’s plans, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume reaffirmed that ‘electromobility’ remains Porsche’s top priority, but that automotive eFuels are a ‘valuable addition’ – as long as they are produced in parts of the world where a ‘there is a surplus of sustainable energy available’.
“They are an additional element on the road to decarbonisation,” Blume said in December. The advantages lie in the simple application: eFuels can be used in combustion engines and plug-in hybrids, and can make use of the existing network of filling stations.
‘By using them, we can make a further contribution to protecting the climate. As a maker of powerful, efficient engines, we have broad technical expertise. We know exactly which fuel characteristics our engines need to operate with minimal impact on the climate. Our involvement in the world’s first commercial eFuels integrated plant supports the development of the alternative fuels of the future. ”
Latest update on Porsche synthetic fuel development came last week ahead of the unveiling of the £ 123,000 911 GT3
With a naturally aspirated, 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine that spins up to 9,000 rpm and produces a maximum of 503 horsepower, it’s no slouch: it accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 199 mph
Speaking at the 911 GT3 premiere last week, Walliser said, “ The general idea behind these synthetic fuels is that no change to the engine is needed, unlike what we’ve seen with E10 and E20, so really, anyone can use it. . , and we test with the regular specifications of pump fuel. ‘
“It doesn’t affect performance – some horses more, so it’s going in the right direction – but emissions are much better; we see fewer particles, less NOx – so that is going in the right direction ‘.
Porsche’s pioneering role in the project is part of efforts to extend the availability of its 911 sports car – one of the most iconic vehicles in the world – at least until the end of the decade when governments are planning new passenger cars on gasoline and diesel. whole.
Walliser explained how they work: “Synthetic fuels have about eight to ten components, while current fuels have between 30 and 40.
Since it is an artificial synthetic fuel, you have no by-products, so it is much cleaner – all positive for the engine
“Because it’s an artificial, synthetic fuel, you don’t have any by-products, so it’s much cleaner – all positive for the engine.”
He added: ‘On a full scale, we expect a reduction in CO2 impact of about 85 percent.
‘If you look at well-to-wheel, where we have to transport fuel, we have a global supply chain, everything around it, then you have efficiency in the whole process. In a well-to-wheel consideration, it is on the same level as an electric car. ‘
The news came within days after both Jaguar Land Rover and Ford set out their plans to switch to all-electric models in the next nine years.
JLR confirmed that Jaguar will become an all-electric luxury vehicle manufacturer from 2025, while Land Rover would launch six new battery-powered off-roaders within five years, with diesels also phasing out from 2026.
As for the American manufacturer Ford, who said it will only sell 100 percent electric or plug-in hybrid passenger cars in Europe from 2026 and only electrically from 2030.
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