German carmaker Porsche bets on e-fuels

German carmaker Porsche wants to continue selling cars with combustion engines and invests in the production of synthetic fuels to lower their emissions. In a first step, the company is investing €20m in a pilot plant in Chile, Handelsblatt reports. The company wants to produce some 130,000 litres of fuel in the first phase, initially to be used in racing, Porsche Manager Barbara Frenkel told the newspaper. Unlike other carmakers who have announced the switch to pure electric fleets in the next decade, Porsche retains high hopes for man-made petrol and senses support from the new German government, the article says. “There are currently around 1.3bn vehicles with combustion engines in the world […] with synthetic fuels, the CO2 emissions of the vehicle fleet are reduced immediately,” Frenkel said.

Germany’s new coalition has not ruled out the use of e-fuels in passenger transport and transport minister Volker Wissing of pro-business party FDP has stressed that the market and consumers should decide which technology prevails. But the majority of researchers and carmakers consider the use of e-fuels too inefficient and expensive compared to directly charging battery electric cars with renewable power.