E-fuels: what are the pros and cons?

The end of combustion engines is almost a done deal, so a fuel that is not yet available for sale could save them: e-fuels. What exactly is behind it? Could synthetic fuels really be the solution to making diesel and petrol engines more sustainable?

In principle, normal filling stations would be suitable for the sale of e-fuels.

Photo: (YAYMicro)

When Carl Benz presented his automobile at the end of the 19th century, no one could have guessed what a blockbuster the internal combustion engine would become – for more than 130 years the number of vehicles in which it was installed has actually only increased. But soon he is threatened with the end. Although engines have become more and more powerful and efficient over the decades, they still emit fine dust and gases that are harmful to the climate. The environment ministers of the European Union have proposed to ban new registrations of cars with combustion engines from 2035. If the proposal is accepted, there is only one glimmer of hope for fans of this technology: e-fuels. Because it is possible – as the paper currently says – that conventional new cars could continue to be on the roads if they were operated in a climate-neutral manner with e-fuels.

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