In an age where a car’s ecological impact is almost as important as its performance figures on a spec sheet, carmakers are all naturally looking towards electric vehicles (EVs) as the obvious way forward. But Porsche – bless them – is still trying to forge its own path with internal combustion engines despite its successes with the Taycan, by developing a new clean-burning synthetic fuel called “eFuel”.
Speaking to Evo Magazine at the launch of the all-new Porsche 911 GT3 last week, Porsche’s Vice President for Motorsport and GT cars, Frank Walliser said that the eFuel will be compatible with all its existing unmodified combustion engines, and could even make them as environmental friendly as new EVs!
“Synthetic fuels are very important to allow us to reduce our CO2 output. Emissions are way better than current pump fuel, with less particulates and less NOx produced; synthetic fuels have between eight to ten components whereas petrol today has 30-40 and not all of them are welcome,” Walliser explained.
When the eFuel reaches the full-scale production stage, Walliser says that they expect a CO2 reduction of around 85 percent compared petrol.
“From a ‘well to wheel’ perspective – and you have to consider the well to wheel impact of all vehicles – this will be the same level of CO2 produced in the manufacture and use of an electric vehicle.”
Porsche first announced its investment into Siemens Energy’s eFuel technology last year. At the time of the announcement, both companies claimed the alliance would produce more than 500 million litres of its synthetic fuels annually by 2026.
Walliser says that the companies are on track to achieve that target. First trials in small volumes will start in 2022.
“It’s a long road with huge investment, but we are sure that this is an important part of our global effort to reduce the CO2 impact of the transportation sector,” he concluded.
Although eFuel have been in development for over a decade, it’s the influx of tightening emissions laws across the globe in recent times that have truly spurred the growth of these alternative combustion technologies.
With several countries already announcing their plans to outright ban ICE-powered vehicles in the next decade, will Porsche’s eFuel be the answer to keep these cars on the road? We’ll have to wait and see, but if these numbers are accurate, the future for ICE certainly looks promising.