Porsche continues on its mission to save the internal combustion engine

The carmaker invests in synthetic ‘eFuel’ to try and save the ICEV

People have long known that synthetic fuels are a climate-friendly alternative to the standard fuels we use to power our cars – and one of the main reasons these haven’t been adopted yet are because of their current scarcity.

Porsche is the at forefront of synthetic fuel development, and a spokesperson for Porsche recently discussed that the carmaker wants to make sustainable eFuel readily available for widespread use.

With electricity alone, you can’t move forward fast enough.

Michael Steiner – Head of Porsche R&D

Porsche has a team that is currently searching for companies to collaborate with to create a pilot plant to test and prove that the production of sustainable fuels can be industrialised on a production line.

Synthetic fuels are produced using renewable energy and have no differing basic properties to regular fuel processed from crude oil. These eFuels are made of carbon dioxide and hydrogen; and in the ideal planned scenario, can prove to be a climate-neutral fuel type.

Despite the increasing interest of electrification, Porsche is determined to give the internal combustion engine another lease on life, and has no plans to remove fuel powered cars from their line-up anytime soon; and although the the company plans for half of their cars to be electric by 2025, Porsche remains convinced that ICEVs, hybrids and EVs will still be on the market in the medium term.

Head of research and development at Porsche, Michael Steiner, remains committed to fuel powered engines for high-performance cars, and states that unlike the negative aspects of E10, the re-introduction of synthetic fuels must be different – and come with no downsides.

It is however more efficient and practicable to simply charge an electric vehicle that has built in regenerative capabilities, thus undermining the side-development of synthetic fuels – and Steiner acknowledges this, agreeing that “if humanity succeeds in using the regenerative energy that is available in surplus worldwide, we can prioritise sustainability over efficiency.”

Porsche might be able to save the internal combustion engined car for the mid-term future, but with fast advancements in electric technology – EVs might still remain the way forward for a sustainable future.


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