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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

Sustainable Strategy, "Battery cells are the combustion chamber of the future".

As early as 2030, Porsche will offer more than 80% of its cars with an electric motor. Furthermore, the company says that sustainability is firmly anchored in the company's strategy as a basic principle: "As a car manufacturer, Porsche aims to achieve a carbon-neutral balance sheet overall by 2030. This means that a low carbon footprint, closed-loop recycling and sustainability are increasingly becoming the prime focus," says Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

Porsche say it will invest more than one billion euros in decarbonisation over the next decade. Porsche will utilise the investment in wind turbines, solar energy and other measures to protect the environment. Investments are also being made in the sustainability of the vehicles themselves. The batteries used in models that are fully or partially powered by electricity as well as eFuels for vehicles with combustion engines play key roles in sustainable mobility:

The battery cell is the combustion chamber of the future. Even today, high-performance cells for the Taycan are being produced using renewable energy sources. The suppliers have also committed themselves to doing this. In mid-2021, Porsche announced the next step: together with its joint venture partner Customcells, the company is to start producing high-performance battery cells.

eFuels are synthetic fuels produced, using renewable energy, from hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide. With the eFuel-based Esso Renewable Racing Fuel, which is to be used during the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season in 2022, a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 85 per cent is possible, if it complies with the current fuel standard after the blending required for this purpose.

Porsche is also investing a high double-digit million euro amount in the new Cellforce Group GmbH. Cellforce's production facility is scheduled to operate in 2024 with an initial annual capacity of at least 100 MWh and will produce batteries for around 1,000 motorsport and high-performance vehicles.

The chemistry of the new high-performance cells is based on silicon as the anode material, which makes it possible to increase the energy density compared with current standard batteries. As a result, the battery can be more compact with the same energy content. The new chemistry also reduces the battery's internal resistance, which allows it to absorb more energy during recuperation. Fast charging can also be carried out more efficiently.

BASF, will be a cell development partner for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. BASF is the exclusive supplier of high-energy HEDTM NCM cathode materials for high-performance cells that provide fast charging and high energy density as part of the collaboration.

Development of eFuels with significantly reduced CO2 emissions

ExxonMobil and Porsche are testing synthetic fuels in motorsports. During the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, all the new 911 GT3 Cup racing cars have been running on a mainly bio-based Esso Renewable Racing Fuel blend prepared by ExxonMobil since the start of the 2021 season. In the 2022 season, eFuels produced from hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide will then be used. The intention is to use the experience the companies have gained for the joint development of fuels in the future.

The eFuels will be sourced from the Haru Oni pilot plant in Chile, where green hydrogen is generated using wind power and water, which is then combined with captured carbon dioxide to produce methanol. ExxonMobil is providing the license for the technology, which will enable the methanol to be converted into synthetic petroleum in the next step in the process – the methanol-to-gasoline synthesis. More than 130,000 litres of eFuels are to be produced per year from 2022 onwards in the pilot phase. As the main customer for this fuel, Porsche will use the eFuels from Chile in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in the 2022 season and its Porsche Experience Centres, for example.

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