Porsche Touts Synthetic Fuel as Clean, Green Alternative

Liz Kim | Feb 23, 2021

Don’t mourn the demise of the internal combustion engine (ICE) just yet. Porsche says that to bridge the gap between now and an electric vehicle (EV) future, it continues to develop synthetic fuels, also known as electrofuels, or eFuels. For 2022, Porsche will exclusively use this fuel in its motorsports activities and at its Porsche Experience Centers.

Porsche 911 Drifting at Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles

What is Synthetic Fuel?

Synthetic fuels work with existing engines without any alterations to the powerplant. Manufactured with renewable electricity to create a combustible hydrocarbon, electrofuels are composed of eight to 10 compounds. Compare that to regular unleaded fuel, which contains up to 40 compounds, much of which is unnecessary for acceleration but burns and creates greenhouse gases emitted from tailpipes. 

Ultimately, eFuel emits no byproducts and produces up to 85% fewer carbon dioxide emissions. Porsche claims that given the resources needed to manufacture a single EV, and particularly its battery pack, the net emissions produced by an ICE using eFuel are comparable to an EV.

Mazda and Audi Synthetic Fuel Development 

Audi has been developing synthetic fuels for use in its vehicles since 2009, and Mazda is also furthering its research. Mazda was the first automaker to join the eFuel Alliance earlier this month, an organization promoting carbon-neutral eFuels and hydrogen fuels

While some automakers have gone all-in on an all-electric future, others have been promoting a multi-pronged approach that utilizes different technologies such as increased fuel efficiency and alternate fuels. Ultimately, all of these approaches share the noble common goal of reducing emissions to slow the effects of climate change. 

Multiple publications provided the information for this article. It was accurate on February 23, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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