ACV Automobilclub Verkehr and PS.SPEICHER test e-fuels in classic cars - trip with four historic vehicles from Einbeck to Zwickau. P1 Fuels and Volkswagen supply 500 litres of synthetic fuel. Oldest vehicle ever to be refuelled with e-fuel.
In the EU, new cars with combustion engines can still be registered from 2035, but they must be operated with CO2-neutral fuels. Such climate-friendly fuels, often simplified as e-fuels, therefore represent an option for the desired decarbonisation of transport in the future. But can historic vehicles also be operated with modern e-fuels? This particular question was the focus of a classic car excursion organised by the ACV Automobil-Club Verkehr and the Auto-Museum PS.SPEICHER. Over two days in mid-August, the route covered a good 400 kilometres from the PS.SPEICHER in Einbeck via Weimar to the August Horch Museum in Zwickau.
Three vehicles from the PS.SPEICHER collection took part: a Delahaye Type 1 from 1899, a Bentley 4.5 Litre from 1931 and a BMW M 635 CSi from 1984. The ACV took part with its VW T2 Westfalia from 1977. A remarkable special role in this group was played by the Delahaye. The automobile, built in France in 1899, was put into storage in 1912 and is still in its original condition, right down to the original upholstery. It was driven on the road in Einbeck, Weimar and Zwickau, making it probably the oldest vehicle ever to run on climate fuels on public roads.
300 litres of e-fuel were contributed by the fuel manufacturer P1 Fuels. The Berlin-based company produces its climate fuel mainly synthetically in the laboratory. In the production process, the company concentrates on CO2 that is produced in industrial production and bound for liquid fuels. A smaller proportion comes from ethanol based on bio-waste such as leaves. According to the manufacturer, the use of the modern fuel saves climate gases by about 70 percent compared to fuel made from fossil raw materials. Aditional 200 litres of climate fuel were supplied by the VW Group. This e-fuel comes from the C3 Mobility project and was produced at the research facility of the TU Bergakademie in Freiberg. It is produced on the basis of renewable methanol.
The event concluded with a panel discussion at the August Horch Museum in Zwickau. On the eve of the Sachsen Classic classic car rally, ACV, PS.SPEICHER and Motor Presse invited experts, press representatives and participants of the rally to discuss together the possibilities and limits of the use of e-fuel in automobiles and classic cars. It became clear that the importance of the topic is also gaining relevance among classic car owners and that there is an increasing exchange about climate-friendly operating options for historic vehicles.
Holger Küster, ACV Managing Director & EAC-President:
"Our classic car outing showed that even vehicles over 100 years old can be operated with e-fuels. From the point of view of the ACV, this is an important signal, because it shows that it would be wrong to categorically rule out the use of e-fuels for the automobile from the outset. In order to achieve a decarbonisation of car traffic, we need all available technologies. In Germany alone, 45 million vehicles with combustion engines are currently registered. E-fuels open up the opportunity to reduce the CO2 demand of these vehicles."
Lothar Meyer-Mertel, Managing Director PS.SPEICHER:
"On our outing, we were able to experience impressively that people still show great enthusiasm for historic vehicles. When we stood with the vehicles on the theatre square in Weimar, we were quickly surrounded by numerous shining eyes. This enthusiasm, this passion and this joy in historic mobility must be preserved. But this is only possible if we find ways to operate classic cars without CO2 emissions and in an environmentally friendly way."
Benjamin Cuyt, P1 Fuels, Sales and Partnerships:
"We use the past to ride the future! This message fits very well with this particular ride, as the vehicles are impressive examples that e-fuels can have a future in the automotive industry. For us, events like this are enormously important to further increase social acceptance for climate fuels."
Prof. Dr. Thomas Garbe, Head of Energy Sources in Powertrain Development, VW:
"We are pleased that we were able to support the ride at short notice with 200 litres of e-fuels and thus contribute to its success. In my view, e-fuels represent an option for decarbonising the existing car fleet in the future."