Porsche have announced an additional $75 million investment in synthetic fuel production.
In a press release, the automaker said it is taking what it calls a “long-term stake” in HIF Global LLC, a holding company for projects to develop synthetic fuel production facilities.
One of the projects Chile-based HIF is involved in is the Porsche-backed Haru Oni pilot plant in Punta Arenas, Chile. The plant is scheduled to start producing synthetic fuel in mid-2022, according to Porsche. The automaker previously estimated 34,340 gallons of fuel would be produced in 2022.
The $75 million investment will be used to develop additional facilities in Chile, the United States, and Australia, Porsche said. The automaker previously announced plans to test synthetic fuel in race conditions, and now says it may also use the fuel in road cars at the factory, and at its Porsche Experience Centers.
Porsche claims synthetic fuel will substantially lower carbon emissions. Haru Oni will make fuel from hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) using wind energy, which the automaker claims will “enable nearly-CO2-neutral operation of combustion engines.”
The automaker previously estimated an 85% reduction in carbon emissions for synthetic fuels made with renewable energy, with lower “well to wheels” emissions than EVs, once emissions related to manufacturing are factored in.
Some environmental groups don’t agree with these claims, however. Europe’s Transport & Environment has called synthetic fuels “a mirage.” But while electrification may be the way forward for new road cars, synthetic fuel could find use in other modes of transportation like air travel—and for keeping classic cars on the road.