Porsche Is Convinced New eFuels Can Save The Combustion Engine

Electric Vehicles / 26 Comments

CEO Oliver Blume says eFuel is just as important as EVs are as we look to a sustainable future.

While the rest of the industry rushes into electrification, some automakers are taking a measured approach. Toyota, for example, has come under fire for its EV stance and continues to explore hydrogen technology as an alternative. Porsche is also looking at other options. The Taycan is proof the company can make an excellent EV, but that doesn't mean Zuffenhausen is giving up on the ICE engine anytime soon.

Porsche's CEO Oliver Blume recently confirmed the 911 will adopt a hybrid drivetrain and we've already seen test units undergoing development. "The 911 is more popular than ever with customers. Over the coming years, we will offer a very sporty hybrid setup for the 911, as many are familiar with from the motorsport context."

But what about the rest of the lineup? Blume didn't say much, but he did express support for the German government's "open approach" and "compromise to incorporate e-fuels" on a path toward a greener future.

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The German automaker has been working on a sustainable energy source for quite some time. Known as eFuel, Porsche and several other partners have plans to produce the synthetic fuel in Chile; the company claims the new fuel will allow near CO2 neutral ICE engine operation - to gearheads across the world, this is hugely promising.

Porsche has previously demonstrated the excellence of its creation, trialing the technology in a pair of Cayman GT4 RS models. The eFuel is created with electricity gleaned from wind power. The plant breaks water down into its main components; hydrogen and water. From here, the hydrogen is processed with CO2 which produces e-methanol.

"Combustion engines can be powered with e-fuels in a virtually carbon-neutral manner. They don't have to be converted or retrofitted for it. E-fuels can be offered as an admixture or alone at all filling stations. We have to offer an option to the owners of existing vehicles too," added Blume. This will certainly assuage the concerns of many classic car owners.

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It shouldn't cost that much either. Blume says the price depends on future production, but there's a possibility eFuel could cost less than $2 per liter. "The important thing is that synthetic fuels are produced sustainably and in places in the world where renewable energy is abundant - then the higher energy input for production is irrelevant."

This doesn't mean Porsche won't cater to the ever-growing EV crowd. The Macan EV is inching closer to production and the Stuttgart-based brand has already confirmed the next-generation 718 models will be battery-powered. This may seem strange, but Porsche said that 40% of European market sales were fully electric or plug-in hybrids.

"Our ambition is for more than 80% of vehicles delivered to customers in 2030 to be all-electric," said Blume. Thankfully, the 911 will fend off battery power for some time. "Weight [and] space are the enemy...if we can solve that equation, maybe [it] is possible one day. But not for the moment," said Porsche's Dr. Walliser.

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2020-2022 Porsche 911 Carrera Side View
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