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eFuel refuelling station explodes in Berlin, Germany!

The German capital Berlin will have stations where synthetic fuel (eFuel) can be refuelled by the end of 2023. Several service stations operated by the refuelling service company SPRINT will be equipped with fuel hoses specially designed for eFuel and will be able to refuel petrol-powered vehicles. The fuel used is P1, developed by German start-up P1 Performance Fuels.

P1 is a completely new ‘CO2-neutral fuel’ that complies with the EN ISO 228 standard. Although still expensive at a price of EUR 5-6/litre, P1 Performance Fuels has proposed its use in official vehicles to the German government. Could this be a good proposition for the German government, which has added the words ‘CO2-neutral fuel’ to the preamble of the EU Fit for 55 light duty vehicle CO2 regulation?

COP 27, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022, failed to decide on the phase-out of fossil fuels. This has led to a renewed focus on eFuel, an alternative fuel that can achieve climate neutrality. Although BEVs are being converted to BEVs worldwide, it is almost impossible to convert all vehicles to BEVs. In areas where electrification is not possible, or where more than 1.6 billion existing vehicles could be immediately decarbonised, eFuel has the potential to do so.

Synthetic fuels derived from renewable energy sources (eFuel) are the most promising solution to decarbonise non-ZEVs. eFuel is also promising in terms of efficient use of renewable energy (renewable energy). Even in regions where electrification of mobility is high, not all electricity is provided by renewable energy. In fact, the more such regions have a shortage of renewable energy. Renewable energy is more abundant in remote parts of the world, and needs to be brought from there. Electricity cannot be stored and the costs of transmission lines are astronomical. This is exactly the idea behind Porsche’s project in Chile, South America.

While eFuel is gaining more public recognition, there are also more and more reports that point to various challenges and drawbacks. In this publication, the current location and future prospects of eFuel are reorganised in light of these multiple perspectives.