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Porsche will run on wind power

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QWho will be able to wave a red flag in front of the bonnet of a thermal Porsche running on “eFuel”? Not even Mrs Hidalgo who will have to face the facts, this supercar does not impact the environment more than an electric car, construction and recycling included. This is the tour de force that Porsche has been preparing for many months and which materialized on Wednesday with an investment of 75 million dollars in the manufacturer of synthetic fuels HIF Global LLC.

By taking 12.5% ​​of the holding company HIF Global LLC, Porsche is joining in the development of industrial eFuel production facilities in Chile, but also in the United States and Australia. Objective: to fuel cars, but also planes and, why not, boats, with this eFuel adorned with all the ecological virtues that its cousin of fossil origin does not have and whose performance it nevertheless reproduces, with even a lightweight better in terms of power.

We will quickly find out as HIF Global LLC, based in Santiago de Chile, is building the Haru Oni ​​eFuel pilot plant in Punta Arenas. Initiated by Porsche, the project involves qualified partners such as Siemens Energy and ExxonMobil for the production of eFuels which should start in mid-2022. Produced from hydrogen and CO₂ captured from the air by wind energy, this synthetic fuel gives new prospects to combustion engines by allowing them to operate almost CO₂ neutral.

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“eFuels make an important contribution to climate protection and significantly complement our electromobility. By investing in the industrial production of eFuel, Porsche is further strengthening its commitment to sustainable mobility. In total, our investment in the development and delivery of this innovative technology amounts to more than $100 million,” said Barbara Frenkel, Board Member for Purchasing at Porsche AG.

Ecological passport

The production of this first unit, quickly assisted by others in Australia and the United States, is estimated at 550 million liters in 2026 but, at first, it will be Porsche racing cars that will use it and then cars. road for their first refueling line and the company’s service cars. The others will follow and above all will be able to keep an ecological passport even if it is a Porsche 356 or a 911 that is several decades old.

“The general idea behind these synthetic fuels is that there are no mechanical changes necessary, unlike what we have seen with E10 or E20 ethanol, says to our colleague Autocar, Frank Wallisser, director of the motorsport division. So really, anyone can use it. It has no impact on performance, there are even a few more horsepower, but the emissions are much better, we see less particulates, less NOx. We expect an overall CO2 reduction of 85%. “.

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Porsche has been researching the use of these renewable fuels for some time. Laboratory and circuit tests have so far been successful, to the point of moving to semi-industrial production. “We see ourselves as pioneers in eFuels and we want to pilot the technology. It is an integral part of our comprehensive and clear sustainability strategy,” emphasizes Michael Steiner, Director of Research and Development at Porsche.

On the other hand, within the same group, the technical solution will only have a marginal role and is not likely, according to Audi, to delay the advent of the electric car. Same feeling at volkswagen where CEO Ralf Brandstatter believes that “synthetic fuels are not suitable for a high-volume brand like Volkswagen. They are available in limited quantities and are expensive. For us, they would not be profitable”. It is true that it has chosen electricity and will devote 89 billion euros to it over the next five years, or 56% of its investments.

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