European Union has set a target to ban new cars with combustion engines by 2035. Not every member of the union is on the same page as a few feel that ICE vehicles can go on with carbon-neutral fuels. After electric vehicles, automakers are moving on to explore possibilities related to alternative or synthetic fuels.
Oliver Blume, CEO of Volkswagen and its luxury subsidiary Porsche, supported the idea of synthetic fuels that can help in the collective goal of reducing carbon emissions. “We think e-fuels (synthetic fuels) can play a useful complementary role for a large number of existing cars and niche segments,” Blume added at the presentation of Porsche’s annual results for 2023.
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Another recent report shared that Germany along with the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, has formed an alliance opposing the ban on conventional fuel cars. German transport minister Volker Wissing said, “The proposal needs changes urgently.” The minister added that the group of countries wants to settle for a separate category of combustion-engine cars that could run on synthetic, carbon-neutral fuels, after the given deadline.
Experts in the automotive industry are currently in the process of studying the technology of synthetic fuels. The production process consists of making the fuel from CO2 from industrial activities using low-carbon electricity. Supporting the decision of the German government, Blume added, “We clearly appreciate the fact that the German government is now taking the appropriate steps.”
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Though many automakers have set a target for themselves to transition to a complete electric lineup, some of them, including Porsche, are investing in alternative fuels to potentially prolong the lifetime of their luxury models. The premium sports car maker–in collaboration–opened a pilot synthetic fuels plant in Chile last year in December.
First Published Date: 14 Mar 2023, 16:47 PM IST