15 Oct 2020, 13:45
Benjamin Wehrmann

Synthetic fuels ready for serial use in passenger cars by 2030 – Porsche CEO

dpa / WirtschaftsWoche

The serial use of synthetic fuels in passenger vehicles could become a reality in about ten years' time, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume has said. At an industry meeting near Stuttgart, Blume said synthetic fuels would "not be in competition with electric mobility" but rather supplement the use of battery-powered cars, the news agency dpa reports in an article carried by the business weekly WirtschaftsWoche. The CEO of luxury carmaker Porsche stressed that there already are "billions of cars in the world's vehicle stock, which is why we have to approach the issue from both ends." This would mean in a forward-looking way through electric engines and in backward-looking way by allowing cars with combustion engines to become climate-friendly through synthetic fuels. E-mobility alone could not achieve the transport sector's climate and sustainability targets, Blume said. He added that technological progress would lower the costs for synthetic fuels from currently more than ten euros per litre to about two euros by 2030, which would allow for a mass roll-out of the technology. By contrast, Blume said fuel cells were no option for the carmaker, as the transport of pure hydrogen to service stations would be too much of a logistical challenge.

The oil industry and other industrial groups are pinning high hopes on synthetic fuels as a way to keep combustion engines and the associated infrastructure running amid the push towards more sustainable mobility. While many major carmakers as well as the German government regard battery-powered vehicles as the main technology needed to achieve comprehensive emissions reduction for passenger vehicles, synthetic fuels are seen as one option to also reduce the climate impact of freight vehicles, transport vessels or aeroplanes.

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