He’s talking about the entire well-to-wheel process and Porsche will start producing synthetic fuel come 2022.
Porsche is not the first and it’s not the last manufacturer touting synthetic fuels as a viable means to keep internal combustion engines around for longer. Audi is another manufacturer that has already expressed interest and invested in synthetic fuels, as is McLaren, while Mercedes-Benz has made it clear that it does not see them as a viable solution.
The announcement that Porsche was going to invest in synthetic fuels and that it will start trials next year was made by Frank Walliser, the head of Porsche Motorsport. He was recently quoted as saying
Walliser also points out that by using these synthetic fuels, current gasoline-burning cars won’t lose any power (in fact they may even gain some) and their emissions are apparently way better than when running on conventional fuel. Using the synthetic stuff, an engine apparently makes less nitrous oxide and emits fewer particulates.
Being manufactured from scratch, these fuels are far simpler too – they are made up of around 10 components, whereas current oil-based fuels can have up to 40 components. So burning this lab-made fuel is considerably cleaner and it is supposed to emit way fewer dangerous byproducts. Walliser explained that
At full scale, we expect a reduction in the CO2 impact of around 85%. 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.
Porsche won’t be doing this alone and has also teamed up with Siemens Energy, Enel, AME and ENAP to create a plant that will produce this new cleaner fuel. This plant will go online in 2022 and the plan is for it to make up to 55 million liters of fuel in its first two years, then exponentially ramp up production if everything goes as planned.
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