The idea of cars powered by water instead of fossil fuels is tantalizing if a bit fantastical. Porsche may have the next best thing, as it formally opens a new facility in Chile capable of producing a different kind of biofuel.
Porsche commences operations of the Haru Oni pilot eFuels production plant in Chile
Dubbed eFuel, the new product is made from water and carbon dioxide using renewable energy. Chilean Energy Minister Diego Pardow led the opening of the Haru Oni pilot eFuels production plant in Punta Arenas, with Porsche Executive Board members Barbara Frenkel and Michael Steiner in attendance.
The facility’s opening is the culmination of five years of discussion between the German automaker and Chile, the latter having an ideal combination of renewable energy sources and shipping opportunities. Other partners were also involved, such as Siemens Energy, ExxonMobil, and global eFuels company HIF. This is reportedly part of Porsche’s ‘double-e path’ that involves working on both e-mobility (represented by EVs) and eFuels.
Porsche Executive Board Members Barbara Frenkel and Michael Steiner fill up a Porsche 911 with eFuel
Frenkel explains why EVs are the default go-to for manufacturers where sustainable mobility is concerned. “If there is not enough energy available (to make eFuels), it makes much more sense that you use this energy directly in electric cars,” she says.
However, Chile has a steady supply of renewable energy sources such as solar, water, and wind power needed for eFuels production, both for domestic consumption and overseas exports. That means the country can potentially supply the biofuel to other markets that are not as rich in renewable energy yet have cars capable of replacing gasoline with an almost carbon-neutral alternative.
The facility’s initial output will be at a modest 128,700 liters annually for its pilot phase. Porsche says that this will be allotted for what it calls its lighthouse projects such as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The biofuel will also be used in Porsche Experience Centers around the globe.
The automaker expects to increase eFuel output after the pilot phase and offer it to other markets
At the end of the pilot phase, the Punta Arenas plant is expected to produce almost 54.89 million liters annually by the middle of the decade, hitting an output of nearly 550 million liters two years after that. According to Steiner, Porsche already has at least one potential customer in Formula One, which announced that it will be switching to 100-percent eFuel by 2026.
The automaker’s venture parallels efforts by Toyota and other Japanese carmakers in developing alternative fuels such as hydrogen and biomass-derived diesel, apart from their respective electrification programs.
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Know more about Porsche
Porsche Philippines is offering Filipino car buyers a total of six premium models for 2023. In the coupe lineup, the German automaker brings in the Porsche 718 and Porsche 911. Meanwhile, it has two crossover SUVs, namely the Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Macan. And lastly, there are two Porsche sedans in the Philippine lineup which consist of the Porsche Panamera and Porsche Taycan fully electric vehicle (EV).
As for Porsche price Philippines, interested car buyers are encouraged to contact or visit its dealerships in the country. The German marque has a Philippine dealership located at 201 EDSA, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. A Porsche showroom is also available at W Building, 11th Avenue in Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo
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