FRANKFURT -- Porsche has joined Siemens Energy and other companies in a pilot program aimed at producing climate-neutral synthetic fuel on an industrial scale from wind power.
Munich-based Siemens Energy is building the 36-million-euro ($44 million) wind power plant in in Magallanes Province in southern Chile.
The plant will produce electrofuels (eFuels) in a process that uses renewable energy, water and carbon dioxide as its main inputs with oxygen as the chief emission.
The final product is a synthetic gasoline that is 90 percent less carbon-intensive than its petroleum-based counterpart, while simultaneously being compatible with existing infrastructure and cars.
The idea could be used in Europe and Africa in areas with wind-swept coastlines.
"Our ideal concept is a standard solution where we can copy-paste the plan to other areas in the world where similar favorable conditions exist," said Armin Schnettler, CEO of the New Energy Business at Siemens Energy. "We are also considering other locations,” he said, citing Scotland and Iceland as potentially suitable sites in Europe due to their abundance of renewable energy.
The project's goal is to produce synthetic fuel by 2026 at a price below 1.5 euros per liter. Currently gasoline in Germany costs about 1.3 euros per liter.
During the initial pilot phase, Porsche has an exclusive contract to purchase the fuel, which it initially plans to use in its Experience Centers as well as in motor sports such as its GT works teams.
The automaker has been researching the field on behalf of its parent, Volkswagen Group.
"Electromobility is a top priority at Porsche. eFuels for cars are a worthwhile complement to that -- if they are produced in parts of the world where a surplus of sustainable energy is available," Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said in a statement.