At the annual conference, the head of Bentley’s engineering department spoke about the automaker’s plans. According to Matthias Rabe, one of the promising areas is synthetic fuel that can prolong the life of internal combustion engines.
Synthetic fuel is of interest as an alternative to the introduction of electric engines. It does not contain oil or ethanol, and its production is based on obtaining a liquid substance from carbon dioxide and hydrogen to form methanol. After going through several stages, the alcohol is converted into a gasoline or diesel fuel analog.
According to Bentley’s chief engineer, such technology would soften the transition to all-electric cars, but would not be a replacement for conventional fossil fuels. Here are the two main problems standing in the way of synthetic: high research costs and unrealistic plans to saturate the market. The fact is that cars today consume 5 trillion barrels of oil a day, and it is simply impossible to produce that much artificial fuel.
Meanwhile, Bentley believes it will be able to extend the life of its diesel cars even beyond 2030, when many companies have outlined a complete phase-out of fossil fuels, within a few models. There are also plans to use the new technology in places where it would be unprofitable to use electric cars.
Porsche also believes in the promise of synthetic fuels. The company has teamed up with Siemens to build an e-fuel plant in Chile and will start testing the technology as early as next year.