E-fuels could revolutionize commercial diesel and gasoline engines. However, experts warn against turning away from battery-powered engines too quickly.
The principle of the so-called designer fuel e-fuel could change the direction of our combustion engines and at the same time make them more environmentally friendly.
E-fuels are fuels that were previously produced from electricity and CO2. Since the energy is thus generated from renewable sources, the end product is one which, by definition, has a balanced CO2 balance. In addition to its environmental friendliness, the fuel has another convincing feature. E Fuels can be used in current combustion engines without any significant changes. In addition, the existing infrastructure in the filling station sector could be used, which would also save enormous costs and time.
Politicians complain that this method of fuel production is deliberately held back in order not to jeopardize a "politically desired turn to the electric car".
In the long term, the use of E Fuels in aircraft, for example, is a decided matter. Batteries would simply be too heavy from their pure mass to be installed in long-distance planes. Trucks that have to travel long distances would also be well served by the new type of fuel development, and the logistics industry would thus be potential buyers of e-fuels.
However, the production of this fuel, which is praised as a miracle cure, is not entirely environmentally friendly, as a study by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (ifeu) on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) shows, since the carbon required for production first has to be extracted from exhaust gases, biomass or the air.
A climate protection plan of the German Federal Government envisages converting one third of heavy goods traffic to electricity or electricity-based fuels by 2030.