Porsche’s continued investment and development of synthetic and almost carbon-neutral eFuel has taken a huge step with the opening of its first plant in South America before it moves on to an Australian plant.
Working with the plant operation company Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF), Porsche is producing eFuel from water and carbon dioxide, powering the plant using wind energy for an almost carbon-neutral process.
The next step for the company is to move focus to a new plant in Australia, specifically in Tasmania about 30km south of Burnie.
Porsche says the Australian plant specifically will make a significant impact on its move to reduce carbon emissions.
“It is expected to produce up to 100 million litres per year of carbon neutral eFuels, reducing global CO₂ emissions by approximately 260,000 tons per year, the equivalent of decarbonising 52,000 cars on the road today,” it said in a statement.
Porsche’s head of research and development Michael Steiner says eFuels won’t usurp electric cars as the primary focus of future motoring, but it’s still a significant development for CO2-neutral transport.
“The potential of eFuels is huge. There are currently more than 1.3 billion vehicles with combustion engines worldwide,” Mr Steiner said.
“Many of these will be on the roads for decades to come, and eFuels offer the owners of existing cars a nearly carbon-neutral alternative.
“As the manufacturer of high-performance, efficient engines, Porsche has a wide range of know-how in the field of fuels,” adds Michael Steiner, member of the executive board for development and research at Porsche AG.
Mr Steiner was on site with fellow Porsche board member Barbara Frenkel to undertake the ceremonial fuelling of a Porsche 911 with eFuel, which can run the car with almost no CO2 produced.
While the main focus for eFuel is motorsport and transport solutions where electric batteries aren’t able to be efficiently used (such as aviation and shipping) for now, Mr Steiner told CarsGuide this year that there’s scope for it to enable sports car owners to continue driving for fun.
“We are pioneers in this direction, scouting and looking for different locations in Australia, to establish an initial plant of similar size to the pilot (300 megawatt) site in Chile, and are hoping to make some announcements during this year.”
“In megacities, the bigger trend will be e-mobility, but not everywhere is there a grid to support all cars with electricity. Then for sports cars there are advantages for ICE burning, and we would like to run our beloved 911,” he said.