New Technology Could Lessen Carbon Impact as EVs Spread – GovTech

New Technology Could Lessen Carbon Impact as EVs Spread – GovTech

(TNS) — As automakers invest heavily in electric vehicles for the future, some also are dabbling in technology that could reduce emissions from internal combustion engines and help fulfill pledges to achieve carbon neutrality.

Porsche AG, for example, is researching the use of synthetic fuels, or eFuels. These fuels, the German automaker says, have the potential to make internal combustion engine vehicles run as clean as EVs, but the problem, experts say, is cost — from both financial and energy-efficiency perspectives.

Porsche CEO  Oliver Blume  told Hagerty that a synthetic replacement for gasoline currently costs about $37 per gallon — though he said his team is working to bring that down. Gasoline currently averages less than $3 per gallon in Michigan.

It’s more expensive and energy-intensive to make synthetic fuels, which is why they aren’t widely available to consumers right now. But some experts and manufacturers see synthetic fuel as just another lever — in addition to batteries and fuel cells — enabling the transportation industry to further reduce its reliance on carbon-emitting fuel to power vehicles, boats and airplanes.

And though many automakers are going all-in on the development of hybrid and battery-electric vehicles, a full transition from gas-powered vehicles still is years away. Even when EVs are more widely adopted, millions of internal combustion engine vehicles will remain on the road. Already, about half of the vehicles that will be on the road in 2030 have already been sold, most containing gas- or diesel-powered engines, according to a 2019 Bosch Group report.

“There’s no silver bullet solution,” said Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst