How Porsche And Ferrari Are Saving Combustion Engines Using ‘e-Fuels’
With many automakers transitioning from petrol-powered vehicles to electrified ones, Porsche and Ferrari are pursuing a new strategy by concentrating on the advancement of e-Fuels to preserve gas-powered engines.
This decision follows the European Commission’s delay last week of the proposed 2035 ban on new internal combustion engine vehicles as the commission prepares to carve out a role for e-Fuels after 2035. [emphasis, links added]
“Porsche and Ferrari’s status as national icons was enough to move their governments to challenge the EU plan last week just days before a scheduled vote,” Bloomberg wrote.
Germany’s Transport Minister Volker Wissing told the European Commission that he would withhold support for the approval of the new engine standards to end the sale of new combustion engine cars unless there was a plan for e-Fuels post-2035.
Italy also threatened to fight the reforms.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday, discussing a compromise that would likely involve e-Fuels.
Germany and Italy are home to the world’s top sportscar manufacturers. There has been growing opposition against Brussels’ plan to ban petrol-powered engines.
That’s because who in their right mind would purchase an all-electric Porsche 911?
The alternative route, mainly for sportscar brands, is the development of e-Fuels as a climate-neutral way to preserve combustion engines—just something about the sound of a twin-turbo V-8 or V-6 that captivates motorheads.
While most carmakers are pouring tens of billions into the EV shift, Porsche has also invested in an e-fuel plant in Chile, partly because the manufacturer doesn’t plan to make its 911 sports car with a plug. Operating combustion-engine vehicles in a climate-neutral way could also help speed up the decarbonization of the transport sector, according to a Porsche spokesman. Existing vehicle stock should be included in the push to lower CO2 emissions faster, he added. Ferrari has said it’s pursuing alternative fuels to keep making combustion-engine cars that preserve its heritage.
Proponents of e-fuels say they’re essentially renewable electricity that’s been converted into a combustible, liquid fuel.
To make it, scientists combine captured carbon dioxide with hydrogen that was split from water in a process powered by renewable energy, creating a synthetic hydrocarbon fuel.
When burned in a combustion engine, the e-fuels create carbon dioxide. But since it was made from previously captured CO2, they argue it’s climate neutral. [That’s not a misprint. –CCD Ed.]
We’ve outlined the growing resistance among vehicle brands and motorsport organizations that are firm in their belief the combustion engine will be sticking around for years to come.
It’s straightforward, the push for eFuels for sportscars will likely preserve the combustion engine, but the cost per gallon might make the cost to operate the vehicle so expensive that only the rich will only be able to afford it.
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