Porsche to become synthetic fuel-maker from 2022

New facility to produce fuel compatible with unmodified combustion engines, pumping out 55 million litres by 2024

Porsche has announced it will begin trials of its own synthetic fuel next year with the aim of becoming a major producer of the carbon-neutral alternative to petrol or diesel.

According to Porsche boss Frank Walliser, the new fuel has been developed for use in unmodified combustion engines.

In partnership with Siemens Energy, AME and Enel, as well as the Chilean petrochemical company ENAP, Porsche will open a new manufacturing plant in Chile that will make synthetic fuel with the aid of wind power.

The German sports car marque detailed its plans for the e-fuel refinery late last year, which should help future-proof its famous ‘boxer’ combustion engines and ensure the Porsche 911 will continue in its current form for at least the remainder of this decade.

Set to open by 2022, Walliser said production will be ramped up to 55 million litres a year by 2024 and 550 million litres by 2026.

According to Porsche, synthetic fuels will soon substitute current fuels refined from crude oil, with the e-fuel to be available from the existing network of filling stations.

Walliser said there is no impact on vehicle performance, with some engines actually seeing an increase in horsepower.

The chief advantage is lower emissions, less particles and reduced levels of NOx.

The development of synthetic fuels will help Porsche reduce its average fleet emissions in line with EU targets.

Made up of around 8-10 components, compared to today’s fuels that have between 30-40 additives, Porsche says its synthetic fuels have zero by-products in their production.

“At full scale, we expect a reduction in the CO2 impact of around 85 per cent,” said Walliser.

“If you consider well-to-wheel, where we have to transport fuel, we have a global supply chain, everything around that – you have efficiency across the whole process.

“In a well-to-wheel consideration, it is on the same level as an electric car,” he said.

Porsche is not the only car-maker within the Volkswagen empire to be developing synthetic fuels, with Bentley and Audi both understood to have invested in the fuel, while British car-maker McLaren says it should soon have a prototype capable of running its e-fuel.

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