Porsche gets involved in the development of e-fuels. The VW boss should like that, at least a dialogue between Herbert Diess and Bill Gates suggests that.

The Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart

Ein racing cars with electric drive? At least Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess does not find that very attractive. Formula 1 is more exciting and technically more demanding than the electric Formula E – where you only drive “a few laps in city centers in the game”.

Diess wrote this mocking remark in response to a LinkedIn post by Bill Gates, who spoke out in favor of promoting e-mobility on the online platform. The VW boss also had a proposed solution: Formula 1 could become CO2-neutral through the use of synthetic fuels, or e-fuels for short.

The VW boss will therefore like the fact that the sports car subsidiary Porsche is already very active in the field of e-fuels. There you not only have motorsport in mind, but the entire product range – because at Porsche you are sure that the combustion engine will have many fans among Porsche customers for years to come.

In addition, it is about the Porsche models of the past years and decades: “If you want to operate the existing fleet sustainably, then e-fuels are an elementary component,” explains Porsche Development Board Member Michael Steiner. That is why Porsche has set up a team to promote work on such synthetic fuels. It is a matter of looking for suitable partners “who can build pilot plants with us and who want to prove that the entire process chain works and can be industrialized,” says Steiner.

There are many approaches to alternative fuels that could be used to replace carbon-based fuels. Ideally, they are climate neutral. A pilot plant in which such a fuel is produced from air (CO2) and green electricity was put into operation at KIT in Karlsruhe in autumn.

The KIT researchers from that project are now among the most important contacts for Porsche in the advance development of such a fuel. Together with other partners, specifications for e-fuels are developed and the fuels produced in this way are tested. At Porsche, they are also in talks with other companies with the same interest and potential suppliers.