In the not too distant future, the vast majority of new vehicles sold will be electric, hybrids, or hydrogen-powered. However, Porsche is investigating ways to keep ICE-powered cars on the road by using advanced synthetic fuels.
The German car manufacturer first announced its plans to research synthetic fuels back in September and has since revealed that it already has a pilot program involving various classic Porsche models that are using synthetic fuels.
During a recent interview with Hagerty, Porsche chief executive Oliver Blume said that ICE vehicles will continue to be driven in the future.
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“We believe that synthetic fuels produced with 100% renewable energy have the potential to be an important element [in the future],” Blume explained. “For this reason, we are conducting research and development activities. 70% of the cars we have ever built are still on the road, and for many years to come there will be cars powered by combustion engines.”
The synthetic fuel being developed by Porsche is made by producing hydrogen and combining it with carbon captured from the air to create methanol, which is then transformed into a gasoline substitute to power cars. Porsche is looking to make this synthetic fuel in factories powered by wind and solar energy.
The main problem that needs to be overcome is price.
“The only problem we still have is price, which is still higher than 10 dollars per liter,” Blume revealed. Porsche is working to bring this down to less than $2 per liter to ensure it’s not much more expensive than petrol or diesel.
“We already have a pilot [program] running historic 911s, from the 993 series, with very good results. We’re also looking for partners. They’ll take care of the technology, and at the end they’ll produce the fuel. Our task will be to find the right specifications so that these fuels will be able to run in our combustion engines,” Porsche’s boss added.
Blume admits that there is still a long way to go to perfect synthetic fuels but believes it could be available to the public in about 10 years.