Porsche to begin trialing synthetic fuels next year


Porsche is ready for the first trials of its new synthetic fuel to begin.

Speaking to Autocar UK, Porsche’s head of GT sports cars and the 911 product line, Frank Walliser, confirmed that Porsche is “on track, together with our partners in South America. For sure, in 2022, it will be very, very small volume for the first trials.

“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.”

Porsche is working hard on synthetic fuels, which will allow it to keep building combustion-based cars like the 911 for longer while keeping emissions down.

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Porsche is working hard on synthetic fuels, which will allow it to keep building combustion-based cars like the 911 for longer while keeping emissions down.

As of last year, Porsche has been working with energy firms Siemens Energy, AME and Enel and the Chilean petroleum company ENAP to develop a plant for the commercial production of synthetic fuels.

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That plant is set to be ready by 2022 and by 2024 should be producing 55 million litres of synthetic fuels. When 2026 rolls around it will be producing roughly ten times that.

The fuel will be able to be used on current engines without any modifications, which could benefit the entire transport industry.

Stacy Squires/Stuff

The fuel will be able to be used on current engines without any modifications, which could benefit the entire transport industry.

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume outlined the motive for the project: “Their advantages lie in their ease of application: e-fuels can be used in combustion engines and plug-in hybrids, and can make use of the existing network of filling stations.”

Walliser added that the fuel will be able to be used on current combustion engines with no modifications.

“The general idea behind these synthetic fuels is that there is no change to the engine necessary, unlike what we have seen with E10 and E20, so really, everybody can use it, and we are testing with the regular specs of pump fuel.”

Electric cars remain important to Porsche though, with the Taycan leading the charge.

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Electric cars remain important to Porsche though, with the Taycan leading the charge.

“It has no impact on performance – some horses more, so it’s going in the right direction – but emissions are way better; we see less particles, less NOx – so that’s going in the right direction”.

According to Walliser, synthetic fuels have fewer components than conventional fuel – eight to ten compared to between 30 and 40 – and the synthetic option has no by-products, because it’s artificial.

“At full scale, we expect a reduction in the CO2 impact of around 85 per cent. 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 told Autocar.



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