How Porsche’s synthetic eFuel could save classic cars in the electric future
Let’s face it, electrification and electric vehicles (EV) are the future whether us petrolheads like it or not. The rapid rise of EVs, combined with countless worldwide pledges to cut out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles within 20 years, as well as ever-increasing fuel prices, means the future doesn’t exactly bode well for classic cars.
However, all is not lost (we hope!). The maker of arguably the world’s finest sports cars, Porsche, is developing its own so-called eFuel, or synthetic fuel to you and I, in a bid to make conventional fuel-burning vehicles as clean as EVs. Produced sustainably in a brand-new facility in Chile, Porsche’s eFuel is made out of CO2 and Hydrogen, and results in a climate-neutral liquid, which burns the same as conventional petrol or diesel.
According to a Car And Driver article, Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche’s Vice President of Motorsport and GT Cars, Porsche’s synthetic fuel “is cleaner and has no by-product — when we start full production, we expect a CO2 reduction of about 85 per cent… this will be the same level of CO2 produced in the manufacture and use of an electric vehicle.” Walliser went on to say that “one of eFuel’s big benefits is that you can pump it into a standard gasoline-powered vehicle without needing to make any adjustments to the engine.” This in particular caught our attention; it seems that there could be newfound longevity for our beloved classic vehicles after all.
In fact, Porsche attended the incredible GP Ice Race in Zell Am See, Switzerland in January, showcasing and testing the brand-new 718 Cayman GT4 RS. For the car’s first European appearance, it was powered by synthetic fuel made up of food waste products.
As exciting as this prospect is, we’ll have to wait and see if it’s really viable. Currently Porsche is still testing and developing its eFuel, and has announced that its Mobil 1 Supercup, which features the new 911 GT3 Cup car, has already began using synthetic fuels and will expand on this in the 2022 season.
But what if this ground-breaking idea is a non-starter? How are classic car enthusiasts going to keep their vehicles on the road? One current solution is Lunaz Design, an outfit based at Silverstone, which restores and reimagines classic cars with electric powertrains. Initially, it began installing electric batteries and motors into classic Rolls-Royce and Jaguar examples but has since expanded its efforts by also looking into electrifying industrial and commercial vehicles into EVs, such as recycling lorries. Orders for these electrified lorries will reach the public and private sector as early as 2023.
Now we know this naturally won’t be to everyone’s liking; many automotive enthusiasts argue that the heart and soul of a classic car is derived from its engine, and that’s a fair point. However, the work that Lunaz Design is doing is an efficient way of reducing vehicle emissions to zero, while keeping classic and vintage cars running for years to come — a much better alternative to them being banned outright. On top of this, the vehicles retain all historic identification, even with silent powertrains and motors.
It’s also worth saying that if you’re big into your Porsches and fancy saving a classic, then maybe buying and restoring an old 911 with Tuthill Porsche is better? After all, it is recycling, or that’s what man maths (sometimes) tells me….
At Marc Brunel Recruitment, not only are we passionate classic car enthusiasts, but we recognise that the future of how we use classic cars is up in the air and changing every day, as more synthetic fuel projects are announced and more companies start investing in electrification. If you’re looking for a career change, or want to get involved with organisations leading the way in classic car restoration and electrification, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
- Akash Cheeda