Invention of the car

E-fuels instead of e-cars

Porsche develops drive that is partly superior to e-mobility according to bill gates

31.01.2022 updated: 07:29

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  • Author valentin betz

For porsche AG, electric motors are not the only solution. The carmaker from stuttgart relies on alternative fuels, which bill gates believes have certain advantages.

  • Bill gates speaks out in favor of biofuels and e-fuels in his blog.
  • Synthetic e-fuels are also being researched as a future fuel by porsche AG.
  • bill gates considers electric drives unsuitable for transporting goods because the batteries are too large.

Stuttgart – not least the enormous success of the e-car manufacturer tesla has prompted german vehicle manufacturers to push ahead with electromobility. In Baden-Wurttemberg, too, there has recently been a boom in e-cars, with numbers almost tripling. Even daimler AG will develop in the future new models with e-drive first.

But not all experts are fully convinced of the benefits of electromobility. The production of batteries is still far too harmful to the environment. whether a car with an electric drive will also be climate-neutral depends on the source of electricity used to charge the battery.

Editor’s note

This article was originally published on 18.12.2020 published. Since it is still relevant to our readers, we have posted it again on facebook.

Another problem is the efficiency of the batteries. Currently, the range is manageable, but the longer the distance, the heavier the batteries become – and efficiency suffers as a result. Entrepreneur and billionaire bill gates therefore does not consider electromobility to be the patent solution, especially for the global transport of goods by trucks, ships and airplanes. bill gates is in favor of a drive system for long distances, which porsche AG in stuttgart is also increasingly researching.

Porsche AG relies on e-fuels instead of e-cars for propulsion – bill gates is convinced

Bill Gates does not reject electromobility outright. „Electric cars convince on the short haul. They’re great for personal transportation, but also for city buses or garbage collection.", bill gates writes in his blog. For the global transport of goods by large vehicles such as trucks, ships or airplanes, however, bill gates believes that electromobility has its limits, which technological progress will not overcome. „Even with a major breakthrough in battery technology, e-vehicles will probably never be a practical solution – at least for trucks, cargo ships and passenger planes.", so bill gates.

Bill gates therefore calls for further research to be carried out on alternative fuels in particular. Particularly promising for the entrepreneur are biofuels produced from plants or agricultural waste. Bill Gates also mentions e-fuels as an alternative. porsche AG and its subsidiaries are also involved in the development of this fuel. „If you want to operate your existing fleet sustainably in the long term, e-fuels are a fundamental component, said porsche’s head of development michael steiner recently.

Porsche AG and bill gates are advocates of the new technology around e-fuels

E-fuels are liquid or gas fuels that can be produced artificially. electrolysis is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and the hydrogen is then combined with carbon dioxide. The technology that porsche is also researching for its vehicles has two key advantages: on the one hand, the fuel can only be obtained with the help of electricity.

On the other hand, e-fuels can be used in conventional combustion engines, no new technology is needed. "the carbon dioxide needed for production comes directly from the atmosphere. So there are no additional emissions when e-fuels are burned," explains bill gates on his blog.

However, the technology on which porsche AG is now focusing also has weaknesses: in order to be climate-neutral, the electricity must come from renewable energy sources, as is the case with electromobility. Moreover, the technology is somewhat cumbersome: instead of powering the vehicle directly with electricity, as is the case with electromobility, e-fuels consume electricity to produce a fuel. "e-fuels can be three to seven times more expensive than fossil fuels," bill gates says. Accordingly, development must make significant progress here to make the fuel profitable.

For porsche AG, e-fuels are the fuel of the future, despite their weaknesses. "if we succeed as a human race in using the surplus regenerative energy available worldwide, we can prioritize sustainability over efficiency," says porsche head of development michael steiner.

Column list image:© unsplash/picture alliance/gian ehrenzeller/KEYSTONE/dpa/photomontage

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