This week Porsche announced that the joint venture net-zero fuels plant (with Siemens Energy) in Chile has begun producing its first gallons of useable synthetic fuels. On Tuesday the first tank-full of the carbon-neutral fuel was pumped straight into the tank of a brand new 911, naturally.
Porsche invested several million euros in the project back in 2020, building a pilot plant in Punta Arenas. The company then invested a further 75 million this year to purchase a larger stake in the eFuels company.
The idea here is that the plant extracts carbon from the air and uses solar and wind-generated power to synthesize ethanol. This fuel doesn’t reduce a cars carbon emissions in any appreciable way, but is considered carbon neutral because of the extraction process involved in its creation. Porsche hopes that this will be enough of a step in the right direction that governments with bans of internal combustion sales already on the books will consider an exemption for cars burning eFuels.
Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board at Porsche: “This is still in progress, but at least our expectation is that we could use such eFuel also in passenger cars, especially Porsche cars. This is expectation, but this is not finalized today.”
In the short term, Porsche will be using fuels produced in this plant to power its racing programs. Porsche’s SuperCup one-make series, which will be running at many Formula One weekends this year, will adopt this new fuel as quickly as possible. And Formula One, meanwhile, is aiming to be run exclusively by carbon neutral fuels by 2026, making it a natural extension of Porsche’s future Motorsports ambitions.
What do you think about this? Would you happily burn a much more expensive synthetic fuel if it meant you could buy a brand new gas guzzler GT3 RS in 2030? Or would you be happy to let the track-focused machine convert to electric power? Let’s hash it out in the comments.