As we recently detailed with Jaguar Land Rover’s new concept Defender, the major players in the alternative fuel space are electricity and hydrogen. Battery electric vehicles have a huge head start on cars packing hydrogen fuel cells, but as JLR said, “the future powertrain mix across the whole transport industry” will require multiple solutions. One you may not have heard of before? Volcanoes.
That’s right, the hottest carbon-neutral fuel to power your futuristic car is apparently volcano flatulence, at least if Koenigsegg has anything to say about it. In a new interview with Bloomberg, Christian von Koenigsegg, the founder and CEO of the Swedish hypercar maker, discussed his interest in Vulcanol, a version of methanol that is created by capturing the carbon emissions from volcanoes. According to Iceland’s Carbon Recycling International, the company that produces the fuel, their process allows for a more than 90% reduction in emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels.
“So there is this technology from Iceland, it was invented there, where they cap the CO2 emittance from semi-active volcanoes and convert that into methanol,” von Koenigsegg told the outlet. “And if you take that methanol and you power the plants that do the conversion of other fuels and then power the ship that transports the [sic] those fuels to Europe or the U.S. or Asia, wherever it goes, you put the fuel completely CO2-neutral into the vehicle.”
“It’s just a fun aspect of renewable fuels that are not talked so much about, but there are many, many other technologies that are coming up,” he added.
In essence, Vulcanol is similar to the in-development Porsche eFuels, an attempt by the German automaker to develop a fuel for internal combustion engines that is comparable to electric vehicles in terms of emissions. But while Porsche is actively working towards testing and producing its eFuel, Koenigsegg didn’t offer any concrete plans to invest in the volcano secretions.
Rather, the interview with Bloomberg paints a picture of Koenigsegg’s ambitions, as the niche hypercar outfit is looking to expand production from around 35 vehicles annually to thousands in the next few years, and do so with a focus on environmental impact. To do that, the automaker hired former Tesla exec Evan Horetsky who was largely responsible for that company’s gigafactories in Nevada and Shanghai.
Volcano fuel and former Tesla leaders? Better step up your game, Elon Musk, or the fanboys may just jump ship.
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