Porsche seeks public aid for the development of synthetic fuels

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Porsche, which is one of the most active manufacturers in research and even in the distribution of synthetic fuels, acknowledges that today this type of energy does not have much chance of seeing the light of day, especially without government aid.

Article updated on February 15, 2023: Porsche France contacted us to clarify comments from Barbara Frenkel, Purchasing Director at Porsche. The automaker wants synthetic fuel to be offered at the same price as gasoline and diesel. To do this, Porsche wants to establish a discount at the pump for this type of fuel.

Porsche’s goal with efuel is not to continue selling thermal cars after the European ban in 2035, but simply to be able to keep current cars on the road for as long as possible, with reduced pollution.

In addition, Porsche continues to communicate around synthetic fuel, as evidenced by the official announcement of February 14, 2023. We then see Barbara Frenkel in Chile, for the launch of the local production site.

Original article, February 11, 2023: In 2035, manufacturers will be prohibited from selling new thermal cars in Europe. The text was adopted by the European Parliament and the European Commission. Therefore, the path is real today for the electric car.and virtually all manufacturers have already started their energy transition.

However, some are wondering about the alternatives, like Toyota, for example. Even if the future seems promised only to the electric car, several solutions point the tip of the nose, but they are not yet mature enough to register in the short term as an alternative option to electricity.

Hydrogen, for example, is of interest to many players in the automotive world, but, for the moment, the development of this technology remains very superficial, in particular due to the much higher development costs than those of a car. electric, not to mention all the inconveniences that this entails.

What is synthetic fuel?

Among the other alternatives, there is also synthetic fuel (or also called ” e-fuel ”), synthetic fuels produced from water through a series of chemical processes. These are artificially produced fuels through the use of ” Power to X from a common base: water.

Through a chemical process of electrolysis triggered by the use of electricity generated from renewable sources (otherwise there would be no environmental benefits), the water is split into oxygen and green hydrogen. E-fuels are produced without oil or biomass, but from CO2 and low carbon electricity.

The advantage of these e-fuels is that they can be used for a conventional thermal car. On the other hand, e-fuel does not in any way reduce exhaust pollutant emissions, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) or fine particles. The interest, It is therefore a matter of reducing polluting emissions during the manufacturing process.

What future for synthetic fuel?

Porsche is one of the most active and has launched a pilot project with Siemens Energy to build a synthetic fuel production plant in Chile, which is expected to produce up to 550 million liters of fuel by 2026. Initially, this fuel will only be used to drive the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the Super Cup, one of the many single-make championships organized by the manufacturer.

But only at the beginning, and it shouldn’t go beyond that. In fact, as Barbara Frenkel, purchasing director of Porsche “the fuel we make is too expensive for us to use”while specifying that without state aid, these alternatives would have no future on a larger scale.

Currently, it is possible to buy synthetic fuel marketed by the company Zero Petroelum, sold… 56 euros per liter! To compare with gasoline, which is around 2 euros per liter.

The idea for Porsche would be to tax fossil fuels more severely and, at the same time, exempt synthetic fuels. Through this manipulation, these fuels could find themselves on the same footing. The project still needs to be strong enough to be included in the European review clause to integrate this solution after 2035.

In general, this energy should be limited to competitive use and not go beyond that. Porsche is also quite realistic on this issue, since the manufacturer thinks that it will only be a simple alternative to fully electric ones. And with the goal of selling 80% of electric cars by 2030, Porsche would not have much interest in continuing headlong down this path.

Are synthetic fuels more ecological than the electric car?

It’s official, in Europe the sale of new thermal cars will be banned in 2035. The electric car will already have taken the lead by then, but it is possible that other alternatives will have emerged by then. AND,…
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