Karl, eFuels are synthetic, potentially almost CO₂-neutral fuels that are produced from CO₂ and hydrogen using renewable energy. What role will e-fuels play at Porsche in the future? With the definition of our sustainability goals in the Porsche Strategy 2030, we have Porsche showed us our way: For the development of future vehicles, we are focusing on e-mobility. However, we will only achieve our ambitious decarbonization goals if we also include the current existing vehicles in the decarbonization and drive them as CO₂-neutral as possible. There are a total of around 1,3 billion vehicles with internal combustion engines worldwide and our vehicles in particular are known for being able to be driven for a long time.
eFuels: Synthetic fuel
That is why we have developed various ideas for operating combustion engines with as little CO₂ balance as possible. It was clear to us that renewable energy is essential to solving the problem. This is the basis of the basic idea of eFuels, which enable combustion engines to be operated in a potentially almost CO₂-neutral manner. In terms of their basic properties, they do not differ from kerosene, diesel or petroleum. Porsche was one of the first companies to address the topic politically, regulatory and economically - and we wanted to communicate that from the start and create incentives for other companies.
What was your motivation and how did you get involved in the topic of eFuels?
- Karl Dums: I have been working at Porsche since 2008 and have been able to work on innovative projects in the powertrain area from the start. First with the electrification of the first Porsche vehicles, then with drive concepts and finally I headed the department for pre-development of drives and aggregate strategy. We also started the eFuels project there. For me, the topic of eFuels ideally embodies the combination of my passion for engines, sustainability and Porsche's claim to be a technology driver. In the project, we break new ground every day and found that Porsche is not afraid to consistently break new ground. I also have a personal drive: I am very concerned about climate change and its effects on future generations. In this project, I can make a contribution through my work that creates added value for Porsche and society. That motivates me a lot, so I want to put my heart and soul into driving the topic of eFuels forward every day.
What measures has Porsche already implemented on the subject of eFuels?
- Karl Dums: Renewable energy is not evenly distributed around the world. In Germany we tend to have too little, but in other places in the world we have so much of it that it cannot be used directly there. The highest energy densities, in the form of sun or wind, are found, for example, in desert regions or in southern Chile. The energy available there must therefore be transported to where it is needed. This is made possible by the production of eFuels. We at Porsche AG, together with HIF Global, Siemens Energy, ExxonMobil and other international partners, have decided to build the "Haru Oni" pilot plant in Punta Arenas (Chile). On site, we use the excellent conditions to generate eFuels with the help of wind energy.
How does it go from here?
- Karl Dums: We recognized the need and above all the benefits of eFuels and had the courage to go a new way, to develop a solution and to demonstrate that it is feasible. Now it is important that other players pick up the ball and follow the direction of the Porsche footprints. We believe that with eFuels we have embarked on a technological path that offers added value for the sustainability of the world. At the same time, there are opportunities for other applications: in addition to use in road traffic, eFuels can also be used in aviation, in shipping or in the chemical industry. The key here is the implementation on an industrial scale. As Porsche, we will accompany this path through our stake in HIF Global.
For the future you wish...
- Karl Dums: ... that in the future all existing vehicles and, in selected applications, also new vehicles from Porsche will run on eFuels and that we will also think about our projects with regard to sustainability beyond the automotive industry. Electrification, for example, is technically not as easy to implement in the aviation and shipping sectors as it is in road traffic and will therefore only take place very slowly. I hope that we will succeed in creating real added value by using eFuels. In this way, we can show that Porsche is also striving to play a pioneering role when it comes to climate protection and that we are in the driver's seat. Photo credit: Porsche
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