80% by 2030
Published in the February 2023 issue of “Die Porsche Kassette”
80% by 2030 by Pedro P. Bonilla Suncoast PCA
That's Porsche's goal for electrification of it's fleet: 80% full electric by the year 2030.
That is a fully committed company!
A few short years ago, in 2019, we witnessed the introduction of the Taycan, Porsche's all electric sedan.
For the year 2021, Taycans represented 14% of Porsche's vehicle production, even outselling the iconic 911.
The next two platforms to be offered as EVs from Porsche will be the Macan (2023) and the 718 Boxster / Cayman (2025).
The fate of the 911 is still up in the air, although a hybrid version has been talked about without a specific timeframe.
The previous paragraph plus the title of this Article seem to cryptically announce that Porsche isn't planning to completely give up on ICE (internal combustion engine) altogether, at least not for it's flagship 911, considered by many as one of the best driver's cars in the world.
But Porsche has also committed to reaching carbon-neutrality by 2030 as well! Thinking about that, how can Porsche then justify maintaining the production of an ICE platform?
That question may have been answered this past week when two Porsche Executives filled up a 911 from the first batch of E-fuel ever produced. The symbolic act took place in Punta Arenas, Chile, site of the pilot plant that has been in the works for the past several years, and is now producing (albeit in reduced volume) the new, clean alternative to gasoline, a synthetic methanol produced by a very complex process that uses water, hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
This wonder-fuel enables a nearly CO2 neutral operation of internal combustion engines which use gasoline, when switched to e-Fuel.
In the initial (pilot) phase the plant will produce 130,000 liters (34,342 gallons) per year and this fuel will mainly be used for Porsche Motorsports, including the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup and the Porsche Experience Centers' vehicles. By 2025 it is expected that production will ramp up to 55 million liters (14.5 million gallons) and by 2027 the facility should be supplying 550 million liters (145 million gallons) per year.
Initially it won't be cheap. The first batch destined for Porsche Motorsports has a cost of 10€ per liter or $45 per gallon. But, by 2026 Porsche expects the price to drop to around $7.50 per gallon due to efficiencies of scale and further technological developments.
The project is a joint effort between Porsche, Highly Innovative Fuels, Siemens Energy, ExxonMobil and the Chilean oil and gas companies ENAP and Empresas Gasco.
The process sounds way simpler than the execution:
A Siemens wind turbine (3.4 megawatt) powers a Siemens proton excvhange membrane which produces green hydrogen from water by electrolysis at 65% efficiency. As the production needs grow, the wind-generated power will ramp up to 2.5 gigawatts and further improving efficiency.
At the same time, a Global Thermostats system scrubs CO2 from the air using a special ceramic honeycomb matrix which yields 98% pure CO2.
When the hydrogen and CO2 are run through a copper-zinc catalyst, green methanol is produced. Finally, the methanol is vaporized, superheated and passed through a fluid-bed reactor where a special ExxonMobil catalyst helps convert it to gasoline, with water as a byproduct.
Because of the additives and blending requirements to ensure that eFuel can serve as a drop-in replacement for crude-based gasoline, the carbon intensity figure is 10, not zero. That still means that burning it results in 90% less net carbon than standard gasoline with identical performance properties.
Porsche's end game is to ensure there's a carbon-neutral fuel that can power the 70% of all Porsches ever built that will still be on the road long after the new car fleet is fully electrified.
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