Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Vicki Butler-Henderson: Embracing e-fuels could save our classic cars

This ancestor of the Porsche Supercup race cars, a 956, will have a longer life thanks to e-fuels.

I’m still a little scarred from last month’s petrol pump problems that left me close to stranded.

But helping to heal this is progressive news about e-fuels. This comes in the week when the world’s eyes are on Glasgow, host of the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (aka COP26), a United Nations’ summit about climate change.

So what are e-fuels? Put very simply, because that suits my brain best, e-fuels do not occur naturally but are made by mixing hydrogen from renewable sources, with carbon dioxide from the air, via chemical processes. (If your brain needs to be fed with more details, then please be my Google guest.)

Vicki with her beloved Mk1 Ford Fiesta.

Putting almost £20 million into the e-fuels pot is German giant Porsche, part of the even more gigantic Volkswagen Group. It has teamed up with a small collection of similar-minded energy companies to develop things further, and the first machines to fill up with its collective result will be, true to Porsche’s pedigree, its racing cars – the Supercup series, to be precise, and the new fuel goes into them next year.

One of the reasons the manufacturer is supporting e-fuels is because almost 70% of all Porsches sold are still on the road. That’s a lot of owners who clearly love their machines enough to keep investing in their maintenance.

But while older cars do not evolve, petrol does. Remember fully-leaded?! The recent arrival of E10 unleaded petrol (10% ethanol, 90% octane) at all UK filling stations has been declared compatible with cars made from 2010 up to today.

Making e-fuels part of the future

There are older cars that will also work (another visit to Google, or the Government’s website) and for everyone else, the more usual E5 petrol still does the job.

But as this itself moves closer to the history books, e-fuels is the closest thing to a successor we have to keep our beloved machines pumping pistons and turning wheels.
The big downside though (there has to be one!) is cost.

For the foreseeable future, e-fuels will be comparably more expensive than petrol. But the predictions are that this situation will switch around within 10 years, plus e-fuels will be just as quick and as easy to put into our tanks at the forecourt as fossil fuels are today.

Looking at the here and now, though, I can only hope the big brains at COP26 will have the courage to encourage the key industries to accelerate the development of e-fuels.

Otherwise, we’ll all end up selling our older cars to museums and going down the only road left open to us – the electric one. And for the sake of my Mk1 Ford Fiesta, I have all my fingers crossed!

You Tube: The CAR Girl Vicki Butler-Henderson
Twitter: @vb_h
Instagram: vickibutlerhenderson

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]