Synthetic petrol: the future of mobility from Porsche eFuel

The German automaker has developed its first artificial fuel, perfect for powering even today's motor vehicles

The inauguration of the Porsche plant for the production of eFuel
Barbara Frenkel, Member of the Management Board and Purchasing, and Michael Steiner, Member of the Management Board, Research and Development, at the inauguration of the Porsche eFuels pilot plant in Chile (Photo: Porsche Press Office)

It seems that fossil fuels days are numbered. In fact, the market for electric machines is joined by that of synthetic gasoline almost zero impact.

La Porsche it is the last to have developed its fuel which, after two years of work and almost 100 million dollars invested, finally saw the light in December 2022.

Made in Chile in a wind-powered plant, the German automaker's eFuels is made in cooperation with the company Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF).

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Haru Oni ​​eFuels pilot plant in Punta Arenas in Chile
The Haru Oni ​​eFuels Pilot Plant in Punta Arenas in Chile: the photograph was taken in 2022 and shows, from above, the plant where Porsche produces the first eFuel, an ecological petrol (Photo: Porsche Press Office)

What are eFuels

But first it is useful to understand what they are e-fuels, or one of the means by which – in competition with electric vehicles – the sustainability on the road contributing to the much desired energy transition.

Designed to be used also by cars equipped with endothermic engines, eFuels are climate-neutral synthetic fuels products from factories powered by renewable energy.

The production - in a nutshell - takes place starting fromelectrolysis of water to get green hydrogen. By adding carbon dioxide, the fuel becomes compatible with the current generation of motor vehicles.

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Porsche eFuel barrel
In the pilot phase, the production of Porsche-branded eFuel will be around 130 liters per year: subsequently, it will increase to 55 million liters per year (Photo: Porsche Press Office)

The advantages of synthetic gasoline

The production, distribution and sale of synthetic petrol solves one of the problems facing the automotive market: ensuring a long life for vehicles still on the road without however polluting the environment or impacting the planet with climate-changing emissions.

The peculiarity of synthetic petrol, in fact, is that it possesses characteristics very similar to traditional petrol, then make it compliant with the existing infrastructure, including in terms of distribution, storage and end use.

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Porsche tank
One of the most interesting features of synthetic petrol is that it can also be used in standard internal combustion engine vehicles (Photo: Porsche Press Office)

Porsche's eFuel

Last December Porsche he refueled, for the first time, a car with his own brand new synthetic fuel. The choice of vehicle has become a declaration of intent.

In fact, it was a Porsche 911 that received the first tank, a now vintage model that from now on will be able to get back on the road without polluting the environment.

And, like her, many other vehicles will be able to take advantage of the novelty without being decommissioned ahead of time.

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Porsche: Punta Arenas, chosen by Porsche for the production of eFuel, is a city in southern Chile, capital of the Magellan Region and Chilean Antarctica (also called the Twelfth Region) and has about 130.000 inhabitants
Punta Arenas, chosen by Porsche for the production of eFuel, is a city in southern Chile, capital of the Magellan Region and Chilean Antarctica (also called the Twelfth Region) and has about 130.000 inhabitants

The factory in Punta Arenas

First in synergy with Siemens Energy and then acquiring 12,5 percent of Global HIF (holding company active in the production of eFuel of which it also belongs ENEL ed ExxonMobil), The Porsche invested nearly 100 million dollars in the research project and in the construction of the synthetic petrol production plant, which then found a home in Patagonia.

The choice was not accidental: the production of eFuels is energy-intensive and the strong and constant wind currents affecting Punta Arenas they are perfect for operating the wind farms that power the plant. And the goal is commendable: to produce 55 million liters of eFuel by 2025.

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Detail of Porsche's eFuel plant in Chile
In the area of ​​Chile where the Porsche plant for the production of synthetic petrol was built, the weather is very windy: there are about 270 windy days a year, on which the plant can count to allow the turbines to work at full capacity scheme (Photo: Porsche Press Office)

Porsche's "double E".

The German automaker's programmatic intent is ambivalent, and it has explained it perfectly Barbara Frenkel, Member of the Purchasing Management Board of Porsche AG, via a recently released press release.

"Porsche is committed to a "double E" path: eMobility and eFuels as a complementary emergy. The use of synthetic petrol, in fact, significantly reduces CO2 emissions and, considering the entire sector involving motor vehicles, the industrial production of synthetic fuels should continue to be pushed all over the world. With its pilot plant, Porsche plays a leading role in this development path".

This is echoed by Michael Steiner, Member of the Management Board for Development and Research at Porsche AG, who says:

"eFuels have enormous potential. Suffice it to say that there are currently over 1,3 billion vehicles with combustion engines in circulation worldwide, and many of these will be on the road for decades to come. eFuels offer a nearly carbon-neutral alternative".

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Porsche's Barbara Frenkel and Michael Steiner(1)
Barbara Frenkel and Michael Steiner on the day of the grand opening of the new Porsche plant dedicated to the production of eFuel from renewable energies (Photo: Porsche Press Office)

The eFuels market today

Do you want for the still too high price, do you want for the lack of relevant legislation,use of synthetic gasoline it is still very limited today. But research is still making progress and something is slowly moving.

The eFuel produced by Porsche, for example, will for now be used exclusively on the track to fuel the cars of the Porsche Super Cup.

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Hemper Porsche GT3 Cup
Porsche's new 911 GT3 Cup: for now, the synthetic petrol produced by the Stoccaread-based carmaker will be used exclusively for vehicles competing in the one-make Supercup (Photo: Porsche Press Office)

Towards a completely green road system

In short, today the alternatives exist and there sustainable mobility it always seems to be nearest. But there is no motor vehicle without a road ahead.

What if even paths and roads veered towards sustainability? There is certainly no shortage of possibilities. Solid Earth, for example, is a leader in the sector of ecological road pavements, performing and natural, perfect for both pedestrians and motor vehicles.

A natural pavement becomes a road surface that does not harm the environment but, thanks to technological innovation and research into materials, it becomes functional, resistant and suitable for lasting over time.

In short, the future of mobility appears ever greener and, with it, even the roads we travel on every day will be able to achieve the goal of eco-compatibility.

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The Porsche eFuel plant and production process in Chile

Porsche: the Haru Oni ​​plant in Chile is highly energy intensive, but wind power makes it possible to eliminate the climate-changing emissions associated with the production of Porsche eFuel (Photo: Porsche Press Office)
The Haru Oni ​​plant in Chile is highly energy intensive, but wind power makes it possible to eliminate the climate-changing emissions associated with the production of Porsche eFuel (Photo: Porsche Press Office)