Should We Bother With Alternative Fuels Or Just Fully Commit To EVs?

Illustration for article titled Should We Bother With Alternative Fuels Or Just Fully Commit To EVs?
Photo: Porsche

Over the weekend we read Liz’s post on Porsche’s work on a clean-burning synthetic fuel. The stuff sounds way too good to be true. But it does make me think: Should we be exploring every alternative fuel option?

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If you missed it, here’s some background from an Evo interview with Porsche’s vice president for motorsport and GT cars, Dr. Frank Walliser:

“Synthetic fuels are very important to allow us to reduce our CO2 output. Emissions are way better than current pump fuel, with less particulates and less NOx produced; synthetic fuels have between eight to ten components whereas petrol today has 30-40 and not all of them are welcome,” Walliser explained.

“Synthetic fuel is cleaner and there is no byproduct and when we start full production we expect a CO2 reduction of 85 percent. From a ‘well to wheel’ perspective - and you have to consider the well to wheel impact of all vehicles - this will be the same level of CO2 produced in the manufacture and use of an electric vehicle.”

Walliser claimed that the fuel could be used in existing Porsches without modification. However, I remain skeptical.

But synthetic fuel isn’t the only alternative. Another idea is to turn garbage into fuel for vehicles or even electrical power. It sounds like an awesome idea because garbage dumps are everywhere, and they aren’t emptying out anytime soon.

There are other alternative fuel technologies like hydrogen, propane and compressed natural gas for internal combustion engines. Are other alternative fuel technologies worth exploring?

The path ahead for battery electric vehicles seems clear enough. Manufacturers are getting on board and betting an awful lot on a fully electric future. Should we go full send with batteries or are you hoping Porsche delivers on a low-guilt gasoline alternative?

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, Suzuki Every, AmTran Bus, VW Jetta TDI (x2), VW Touareg, Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Triumph Tiger, Genuine Stella...

DISCUSSION

AndySheehan-StreetsideStig
Andy Sheehan, StreetsideStig

Why is this even a question? Of course we should take interest in alternative fuels. Almost every cool car ever made runs on an ICE. You think we should just put those away now that manufacturers are jumping ship for electric crossovers?

Porsche’s alternative fuel prospect is the very best news for car enthusiasts. It means the end of guilt (if you had any) for buying, modifying, driving, and racing awesome cars. They should have our full support.