It seems like every auto manufacturer is jumping onto the electric vehicle bandwagon as fast as they can. But there are still and will be for decades, gas-powered vehicles that will need fuel. Now, if that fuel could be carbon-neutral, synthetic, and plentiful, then that shines a whole new light on ICE-powered vehicles. Porsche is developing a fake gas for those millions of current and future classic cars that will still need gasoline.
In conjunction with Siemens Energy, Porsche wants to develop the first mass-produced synthetic fuel. This “e-fuel” will be carbon-neutral so that the carbon created from burning the fake gas is equal to the carbon trapped during the process. It will be created using wind energy splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis.
The process for doing this fake gas was first developed by and is licensed from Exxon
When hydrogen is added to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere it creates synthetic methanol. This is then converted into synthetic gasoline. The process for doing this was first developed by and is licensed from Exxon.
A spot for the first factory has already been chosen in southern Chile. The initial production will be about 34,000 gallons in its first year of operation. By 2024 it is projecting it will produce 14.5 million gallons, and then ten-times this amount by 2026. Unfortunately, these are pretty small quantities compared to gasoline production.
The US consumes 10 million barrels of gasoline a day-not a year.
The US consumes 10 million barrels of gasoline a day-not a year, but a day. So the output from this plant is minuscule. But if used as a model for other plant construction around the world then production can rise substantially.
“If we have to import energy, we could choose whether we import fossil energy or renewable energy,” Porsche R&D head Michael Steiner said in a Zoom call. Synthetic fuel “is not a direct competition to e-mobility, it is in addition to e-mobility – something that we see as an important second track.”
Porsche has carved $24 million out of its budgets to seed the project
Porsche has carved $24 million out of its development capital to seed the project. The company would use the fuel for factory race cars, at its Porsche Experience Centers, and for testing new Porsche products. Beyond that, the hope is for other companies to step up to the plate and produce fake gas in huge quantities.
So don’t expect Porsche to be cranking out fake fuel for your 911S or Ford Model A roadster. The goal is to lay out the model and then let the industry take over and start providing what initially might be expensive fuel. The hope is to keep ICE vehicles around into the foreseeable future.