Audi commits to green energy Motoring & Industry News NRMA …

7 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Audi commits to green energy Motoring & Industry News NRMA … отключены
Audi e-gas

Audi commits to green energy

Audi has become the world s first carmaker to commit to the production of green energy and its subsequent refinement into a carbon-neutral fuel source for cars and trucks.

Plenty of carmakers are exploring new technologies to reduce our reliance on the world s dwindling supply of natural resources. But while most makers are hard at work improving engines to use less fuel/diesel, or are busy developing either electric or fuel cell vehicles, Audi has had its head down working on a well- (so to speak) to-wheel solution.

It s calling it: the e-gas project and it s seen Audi invest around 50 million euro establishing a sustainable source of carbon-neutral energy. And that sustainable/renewable source is wind.

To that end, Audi has signed-off on the construction of four wind turbines to be located in the North Sea; the electricity generated will be fed into the public power grid in Germany. But it doesn t end there. See, Audi has already commissioned the construction of a production plant that will use the wind-generated electricity to create hydrogen via electrolysis.

Rather than being spirited away for use in fuel cell vehicles (the current infrastructure to store and deliver hydrogen is incredibly limited), the hydrogen will be used, with the addition of CO2 (from the atmosphere) to create methane, which Audi calls e-gas.

E-gas or methane, etc does produce greenhouse gas emissions out of the tailpipe but because the CO2 being emitted has already been drawn in from the atmosphere during the production of the fuel, running a vehicle on Audi s egas makes it carbon neutral. Clever, eh.

It s important to note that e-gas, or methane, is chemically identical to natural gas (the same stuff used to run your gas-powered stove, or heating) and so can be used to power internal combustion engines with very little modifcation. More than that, the storage and transfer of this e-gas, or methane (which, remember, is chemically identical to natural gas), requires no modifcation of the gas storage and transfer grid.

And Audi isn t alone in this thinking, truck makers like Isuzu have embraced natural gas as a fuel source, although it hasn t gone as far as Audi and gotten involved in the production of a synthetic natural gas. Currently, some 8 million vehicles around the world run on natural gas.

Audi e-gas

US-based FuelMaker Corporation has created a wall-mounted home-based natural gas refueling station, called Phil. Basically, it gets plugged into your natural gas supply, and you can fill your car at home. It has start and stop buttons and shuts itself off when the tank is full.

It gets better, because in some US states buyers of natural gas-powered vehicles are eligible for a rebate of around US$4000, and US$1000 for installing Phil.

So, when looked at on its merits, and the environmental benefits of Audi s approach to generating electricity from renewable sources and producing a fuel source for automobiles, methane makes total sense as the fuel source of the future.

Starting in 2013, Audi will be releasing a number of TCNG models (the first will be A3 TCNG, followed by A4 TCNG) whose engines will be powered by e-gas produced from electricity generated by the wind farms in the North Sea.

Audi has stated that if the initial Germany-only rollout of the A3 and A4 TCNG cars proves both popular and successful it will look into investing in similar projects around the world. See, who says the news is all bad.

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