Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Powering Your Car with Water: Audi Realizes the Green Dream, Synthesizes Diesel from H20

Maybe EVs aren’t inevitable after all. Audi, together with the German energy company Sunfire, has announced that it is able to synthesize diesel from water and CO2, and that the product can fuel automobiles.
The process involves heating water to 800 degrees Celsius, creating steam. Electricity—from a green-energy power source, naturally, biomass in this case—heats the water, and the resulting high-temperature electrolysis breaks it down into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released, and the hydrogen is combined with CO2 taken from the atmosphere. Under high heat and pressure, the two synthesize to create a liquid known as blue crude. The blue crude is refined into what Audi calls e-diesel.
So far, e-diesel is being mixed with traditional diesel, but it could potentially be used as a fuel on its own. The e-diesel is claimed to be sulfur-free and cleaner-burning than standard diesel. The first five liters went into the tank of an Audi A8 3.0 TDI driven by Germany’s Minister of Research.
Audi and Sunfire claim that the process to make e-diesel is 70 percent efficient. They estimate that once production is ramped up, the cost to consumers in Europe would be comparable to traditional diesel, at 1.00 to 1.50 euro per liter (approximately $4.00 to $6.00 per gallon).

Monday, April 27, 2015

VW Golf R 400 reportedly green-lit (again)

After speaking to Volkswagen powertrain boss Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, we uncovered that the Volkswagen Golf R 400 would be sold in the United States... if it ever made it to production at all, that is.

That prerequisite looks like it's about to be fulfilled, as the same good doctor that said the super-poweredGTI would come to the US has confirmed to Car that development is currently underway. This follows up on reports from late 2014 that the 400-horsepower car would make production.

"We have the Golf more sporty than ever before, since we soon will have the Golf R 400 – we will do this car," Neusser toldCar. "We are in fact in development of it right now."

That is, we think you'll agree, splendid news. Of course, it also begs the question of when the new car will arrive. According to Car, it'll be just "a few short months," indicating that the Frankfurt Motor Show will likely host the Golf R 400's debut later this year. Whether that proves correct, though, likely won't be clear until later this summer.