Home Green Technology Porsche Readies Self For Hydrogen Gasoline Cell Automotive, Rumor Has It

Porsche Readies Self For Hydrogen Gasoline Cell Automotive, Rumor Has It

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Porsche Readies Self For Hydrogen Gasoline Cell Automotive, Rumor Has It

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Will they or gained’t they? Rumors of a Porsche hydrogen gas cell automotive have begun swirling across the automotive press, following a brand new scoop from Automotive Buzz. If it does pan out, Porsche’s new hydrogen gas cell automotive will most certainly be unaffordable to all however the privileged few, however that’s okay. In any case, the Tesla Motor Firm began life because the area of interest producer of sporty battery-powered electrical automobiles with a $200,000 worth level, proper?

Porsche Is Hydrogen-Curious

CleanTechnica caught a whiff of Porsche’s curiosity in hydrogen-powered mobility again in Could of 2022, after we observed that the corporate was already dipping a toe in the electrofuels subject.

The e-fuels group contains inexperienced hydrogen gas produced from water, with renewable power offering the electrical energy to run the method. It additionally contains artificial hydrocarbon fuels, which could be made with captured carbon in addition to inexperienced hydrogen to finish the sustainability loop.

Fueling an inner combustion engine with hydrogen is just not the identical as utilizing hydrogen in a gas cell, however it’s getting a bit nearer.

From Hydrogen ICE’s to Gasoline Cells

Certain sufficient, in August of 2022 Porsche introduced the outcomes of a examine indicating the feasibility of deploying hydrogen in a combustion engine.

The examine, performed by the corporate’s Porsche Engineering Group, was aimed toward growing a hydrogen combustion engine that “goals to match the ability and torque of present high-performance gasoline engines,” whereas additionally conserving gas and slicing emissions all the way down to the extent of ambient air.

That’s a bit extra difficult than it could appear. Hydrogen doesn’t produce greenhouse fuel emissions when burned at excessive warmth, however it will probably produce nitrogen oxides.

“By way of optimising emissions by the hydrogen engine, the specialists at Porsche Engineering subsequently targeting nitrogen oxides,” Porsche explains. The answer was to  develop an “extraordinarily lean” colder combustion system.

On the time, Porsche additionally upped its curiosity in producing artificial hydrocarbon e-fuels with renewable power.  In December of 2022 the corporate introduced the launch of a brand new wind-powered e-fuel pilot plant in Chile, aimed toward producing a drop-in substitute for gasoline (see tons extra of CleanTechnica’s Porsche protection right here).

In January of 2023 the plot thickened, when Wards Auto took be aware of the corporate’s continued curiosity in hydrogen gas underneath the subheading, “Porsche has developed a hydrogen-powered internal-combustion engine to exchange its gasoline-powered V-8 and an artificial gas inventory that replaces gasoline.”

All collectively this may increasingly appear a bit complicated, however Ward’s reporting means that Porsche might do each. In any case, even when the corporate have been to pivot its factories completely into hydrogen engines in a single day, its current ICE clients would nonetheless want gasoline for his or her gasmobiles. On the green-o-meter, artificial gasoline from inexperienced hydrogen and captured carbon beats extracting extra oil from the bottom.

Porsche may be eyeing the potential for producing e-gasoline for the overall market as nicely, which might depend upon whether or not or not common outdated gasoline is finally banished in favor of extra sustainable variations.

What About That Hydrogen Gasoline Cell Automotive?

As for the hydrogen gas cell rumor, that’s an entire ‘nother kettle of fish. Hydrogen gas cell vehicles are electrical vehicles, similar to their battery-powered cousins. The distinction is that gas cells generate electrical energy on-the-go by way of a response between hydrogen and ambient air within the presence of a catalyst, whereas batteries obtain their cost from a stationary supply.

Again in April of 2020, Porsche’s head of analysis and growth, Michael Steiner, threw chilly water on the gas cell thought in an interview with reporter Christiaan Hetzner of Automotive Information Europe.

“How engaging are gas cell fashions to Porsche, contemplating that the stacks are lighter than batteries?” Hetzner requested.

“We proceed to look at it, however in the intervening time this know-how is just not suited to Porsche,” Steiner answered. “For one the standard output of a stack is about 100 kilowatts, so if you need extra energy you continue to want to incorporate a big battery to supply peak output. Which means you want much more room for his or her set up.”

“Secondly, the system’s general power effectivity could be very poor as a result of it takes lots of electrical energy to separate water into hydrogen, distribute it to gas stations and convert it again to electrical energy,” Steiner added, referring to electrolysis programs.

Steiner’s considerations have been legitimate on the time, however the price of electrolyzers has come down significantly in simply the previous few years since that interview, and so has the price of renewable power to supply the electrical energy.

Sure, What About That Hydrogen Gasoline Cell Automotive?

Porsche’s more moderen e-fuels enterprise solutions the considerations about electrolysis, and on January 11 of 2024 — that’s immediately or yesterday, relying on if you learn this — Sebastian Cenizo of Automotive Buzz acquired the inside track on an answer for the issue of needing extra room.

“If a brand new submitting found by CarBuzz on the German Patent and Commerce Mark Workplace is something to go by, Porsche is contemplating producing hydrogen gas cell automobiles, ” Cenizo reported.

Gasoline cells are a mature know-how, however making use of them to a automobile includes overcoming some engineering challenges, comparable to making room for the hydrogen gas tanks and decreasing the price of uncooked supplies. These, Cenizo noticed, have been the dual focus of the patent submitting.

In case you are shocked by the information, be part of the membership. Cenizo additionally famous that proof of Porsche’s curiosity in a hydrogen gas cell automotive has by no means surfaced on the Automotive Buzz radar earlier than, apart from a single unsubstantiated report again in 2015.

“Mainly, whether or not we’re speaking hydrogen combustion or gas cells, Porsche is open to something however is way from committing. It’s rather more occupied with hybridization and/or artificial fuels,” Cenzio concluded.

Subsequent Steps For Porsche

If gas cells are usually not the street to Porsche’s electrification goals, it’ll all the time have batteries.

On November 11, Porsche took be aware of its progress on growing a battery-powered model of its Macan SUV, which launched 10 years in the past.

“As the primary Porsche mannequin constructed on the brand new Premium Platform Electrical (PPE), the SUV is a totally new growth,” Porsche enthused. “The take a look at course of to make sure the proper coordination of all elements and programs is accordingly meticulous.”

“Porsche locations nice significance on real-world testing with camouflaged prototypes. On the similar time, simulations in each the digital world and wind tunnel are more and more exact and play an ever-greater function. That is notably true with regards to making a brand new Porsche not solely sportier, but in addition extra environment friendly,” they added.

If a Porsche gas cell automotive ever hits the street, anticipate the same consideration to element. Gasoline cell vehicles have struggled to extend their footprint within the zero emission automobile market, however indicators of exercise are stirring within the SUV space with BMW and Honda amongst these within the working.

It’s additionally value noting that Toyota has additionally been noodling round in the hydrogen combustion engine space for top efficiency racing vehicles, along with holding the torch for street-legal hydrogen gas cell vehicles.

Simply saying…

Observe me @tinamcasey on Bluesky, Threads, Put up, and LinkedIn.

Photograph (cropped): Porsche 911 GT3 sports activities automotive courtesy of Porsche.


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