How Porsche E-fuel aims to make gas engine cars as clean as electric ones
Cooley On Cars
While the whole world's going nuts for electric cars, Porsche is working on a cleaner gasoline, it's called e fuel.
Let's find out when it arrives, what it's made of, and who it's for.
Now, on its face A car that burns any kind of fuel, e or otherwise.
Would seem to be dirtier than any car that doesn't burn anything like an electric car.
But Porsche is talking about full life cycle analysis here, not just tailpipe versus no tailpipe.
Electricity is not free environmentally, it typically comes with some generation pollution.
And transmission inefficiencies all of which add up to an environmental load.
And if they can make bass say, a combustion fuel as clean as the life cycle of electricity, they believe they're on to something and I believe they are.
Creating synthetic gasoline from methane and hydrogen isn't a new concept.
It's called the Fisher Trump's process.
And during World War Two it accounted for 9% of Germany's military fuel and 25% of that used in personal cars.
This whole argument that electricity is not as clean as it looks because of Upstream pollution has long been a car that the whole gasoline in my veins Evie hating crowd loves to play.
Porsche is not of that mind, but they are pursuing a future that's not going to be simple.
Now, if you will, among other components uses an electrolysis process to crack water into hydrogen and oxygen Not unlike the way you make hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cell cars, but for E fuel they harvest those hydrogen molecules to run them through a process developed by Exxon that converts it into synthetic gasoline.
The pilot program will be powered by electricity from a wind farm at the tip of Chile.
Bottom line Porsche says e fuel and a combustion engine car would achieve an 85% reduction in co2, which they claim is about on par with an Eevee.
Again because of the upstream pollution created by power generation for electricity Now here's the big asterisk, depending where you are and where your electricity comes from, that could vary a lot.
In some areas, it's largely a green in renewables that are powering the grid at least a lot of the time.
In other areas.
It's mostly coal and natural gas being burned.
So unlike gasoline, the cleanliness of electricity is a largely regional market where all gasoline is produced about the same way So when is this stuff arrived a tiny amount in 2022.
Porsche says they'll do a pilot run of 34,000 gallons I think it is in 22 for testing purposes only obviously.
Then they say if that goes well by 2026, five years from now, they could make 145 million gallons of it in that year.
That's about 0.1% of the amount of gasoline we burned in the U S only in 2020, and they said EVs were niche.
Now Porsche will be the first to tell you eat fuel ranks below electrification on their agenda.
This is not the next big thing.
It's an interesting sort of stop gap.
Special Interest strategy as I understand it, they're very grown up and realize that we are generations away from seeing all the combustion engine cars dwindled to almost nothing on the roads.
Forget about sales of V's, you got to look at the fleet and that's a much tougher nut to crack.
So this is going to be for the long interim when tons of combustion engine cars continue to roam the earth.
No matter how strongly electric cars are selling, and this is great news for those of you like me who own vintage or collector cars and don't want them to ever leave the road.
I would welcome something like e fuel.
It sounds like one of those smart rational Long bridge technologies that we often need.
On the way to a radically different future, I'd buy some as long as it doesn't ruin the fuel system in my 67.
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