Synthetic fuels are where Stuttgart is focusing
The electric car is taking over, so we're told. Teslas are gaining more popularity with each passing day, but traditional automakers like Volkswagen have committed to a greener future, too, with cars like the ID.4 spearheading the change. Even Germany's greatest sports car manufacturer, Porsche, has now brought the Taycan to market with pure electric power. However, Porsche is not convinced that this is the only way to go green.
"Electric mobility is an exciting and convincing technology but, taken on its own, it is taking us towards our sustainability targets at a slower pace than we would like," says Porsche's Michael Steiner.
The solution? Synthetic fuels, otherwise known as eFuels.
Steiner continues to explain that his team is looking for partners who want to build pilot plants with them and prove that creating eFuels is sustainable. He goes on:
"Porsche wants to help shape this chain, but at the same time, doesn't want to define it down to the smallest detail alone." So basically, Porsche wants to be heavily involved in creating these plants, but also wants its potential partners to leave their mark on the project too.
Why the focus on eFuels? Well, although Porsche wants half of all new vehicles it sells by 2025 to be electric, the current lineup is large and mostly free of electrification. Porsche needs to find a way to keep some of its most iconic models - cars like the 911 - on the road. This means that the company needs high-performance eFuels to be developed.
Porsche realizes that eFuels alone cannot reduce CO2 fleet emissions enough, but the automaker wants to get the jump on this before legislature has everyone scrambling. Interestingly, not everyone agrees on this subject. Mercedes says that synthetic fuels are not sustainable while both McLaren and Volkswagen see the value in keeping the combustion engine alive through innovative fuels. The takeaway is that while some manufacturers may one day soon offer electric models exclusively, some of the brands that made their name in performance and the emotion of a noisy engine giving off thousands of tiny explosions every minute will fight to keep these "archaic" means of propulsion alive.