Great F1 Challenges: Porsche E-Fuel 2026 – Adriano Costa

There is also the Italian hand, which is not the six-legged one of Agip, in the announcement of the return to racing, the fourth starting from 1961, of the Porsche which in 2026 will equip the Red Bull of the current F1 World Champion, 24-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen. This is Enel which, in symbiosis with Porsche, Siemens and a small and qualified group of international partners, has developed and implemented in Chile the first integrated plant in the world for the production of a climate-neutral synthetic fuel, the so-called e-fuel. Porsche itself will test this innovative fuel directly, first in precise comparative tests, later in the race and finally on the production sports cars that traditionally constitute the production backbone of the Stuttgart company.

During this year a production of 130,000 liters of e-fuel which will become about 55 million liters by 2024 and about 550 million by 2026. Porsche itself will be the first buyer of this green fuel suitable for powering the engines belonging to the “vintage” production of the German manufacturer whose fleet continues to walk the streets valiantly and not to mortify the sellers of safe second-hand goods. We recall that Porsche, in 2019, produced 280,800 “911”, 718 Boxster, 718 Cayman models in the Stuttgart, Leipzig and Weissach development centers (in total 35,429 employees). The following year, 371 “718”, 1,213 “911”, 1,381 Cayenne, 2,195 Macan, 273 Panamera and 372 Taycan, the first electric, were sold in Italy, the third European market, confirming itself as one of the most profitable car manufacturers. worldwide operating profit was 4.4 billion euros. The fleet of cars currently circulating on earth is 70% of what has been produced globally since 1948, the first year of the limited series production inaugurated with the “356” 4-cylinder boxer model.

Siemens Energy is a global leader in the renewable energy market and actively supports the transition to a more sustainable environment. It is estimated that one sixth of the electricity produced in the world is based on Siemens Energy technologies it uses, in 90 countries. over 90,000 employees and generated a turnover of 27.5 billion euros in 2020. The e-fuel pilot project, called “Haru Oni”, was carried out in Patagonia, in the province of Magallanes, with the collaboration of the national energy company AME and the Chilean oil company ENAP. The objective, co-financed by the German Federal Government (with 8 million euros), is to produce synthetic fuels, with zero impact, obtained from green hydrogen by exploiting green wind energy, particularly constant and abundant in the windy extreme south of Chile in order to reach the climate objectives indicated by the European Union.

Through processing phases that start from the electrolysis of the water, methanol is generated from which the synthetic e-fuel gasoline is derived. According to Porsche tests, the reduction of CO2 emitted by engines powered by this green fuel reaches 90%. It being understood that the highest priority is reserved by Porsche for electromobility applications, e-fuels represent a useful integration on the path of new decarbonised fuels to be used not only in sports and elite circulation but also in mass and in the sector. of commercial transport. A solution that will pay off “greens” and therefore still suitable for circulation, internal combustion cars, that is, with internal combustion engines. A comforting prospect for current vehicle owners, for traditional houses, for millions of retailers who parcel out the territory.

Automotive experts believe that if it is true that for light transport, i.e. cars and two-wheeled motorcycles, the future belongs to electric motorization, for heavy transport, by road, water and rail and in air transport. e-fuels are the realistic alternative to current fossil fuels. The basic problem is that of the cost of the processes for producing hydrogen from water through hydrolysis on an industrial scale and at acceptable prices. From this point of view, the times still seem long. The management of electrolysers is now expensive and the availability of electricity from renewable sources is modest outside of privileged areas such as the Chilean South where a surplus of sustainable energy is available.

In favor of e-fuel, its ease of use plays a role which, since it does not involve the installation of specific systems, can exploit the existing capillary network of refueling stations. The pending question, linked to the evolution of production methods, is the currently conceivable price at the pump between 2 and 4 dollars per liter. Porsche’s return to F1 in a Red Bull testifies to a significant adherence and fidelity to the exhaustive and therefore highly probative module of motor racing, which is also an excellent promotional vehicle and an image and advertising tool with a sound and universal impact. An industrial and commercial operation consistent with Stuttgart’s award-winning, severe and brilliant sporting and racing tradition.

FP | Adriano Costa


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