One of the challenges that is facing global automakers is that legislation in various parts of the globe requiring reduced CO2 emissions (e.g., the European Union) or notably increased fuel economy (e.g., the U.S.) means that they have to do things that they haven’t necessarily done in the past. This doesn’t simply mean create new types of powertrains (e.g., hybrids of various varieties) or use materials in abundance that they once used on a more limited basis (e.g., the aluminum body for the 2015 F-150), but as they are the ones who are being held to the standard, even start working with companies to develop fuels that will run more cleanly and efficiently.
This doesn’t look like a car plant because it isn’t. It is for developing alternative fuels.
That’s right: It’s not enough simply to make the car or truck. Now they have to address the fuels that will power the vehicles.
Case in point is an announcement that Audi has entered into a strategic partnership with Global Bioenergies, a biotech company, with the objective of developing “e-gasoline.”
Said Reiner Mangold, head of Sustainable Product Development at Audi, “We are supporting an innovative technology here which can be used to produce renewable fuel. This process does not create competition with food production and farmland.”
And this is only one undertaking. Audi is also working with another company, Joule, in Hobbs, New Mexico, on the production of e-ethanol and e-diesel. It has a facility in Werlte, Germany, to produce e-gas.
As if making cars and trucks wasn’t hard enough in and of itself. . . .