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Hagerty Employee

Why synthetic fuel can't challenge the efficiency of batteries-yet | Hagerty Media

Jason Fenske, the creator and host of the YouTube channel Engineering Explained , recently dove into the complicated subject of synthetic fuels and rolled out his trusty whiteboard to break it all down. If the concept of synthetic fuels is new to you, don't be intimidated: A synthetic fuel is basically any fuel we'd burn in an engine that doesn't come from crude oil.

I'll start embracing the climate thing for electric cars when the price sticker includes an estimate of the total energy consumed by the process of building the car. That includes all the energy to create the metals, plastics, motors, batteries, everything. For a new car, that energy is all net new consumption this year. For an old car, that number is zero impact for this year. What this means: I can operate an existing older car likely for many years before the net energy and net carbon impacts cross over to favor the new car. Ironically, the best thing you can do to help the environment is NOT buy a new car, but rather keep your old car well maintained.
Pit Crew

I'll start embracing the climate thing for electric cars when the price sticker includes an estimate of the total energy consumed by the process of building the car. If you do that then, to be fair, you will have to do the same for other than electric cars. They aren't without a foot print for the components made for them.

You people and your"Foot Prints." The entire Earth is a Foot Print. Lets eliminate Planet Earth because of it's "Foot Print" shall we?
Pit Crew

What exactly are you trying to say?



What’s not discussed here is the BEV’s delivery infrastructure. With much of the country’s grid already pushed to its limits, it’s going to take a massive investment in order to accommodate 300 million BEVs.

The beauty of synthetic fuels is the existing infrastructure...not to mention the advantage of NOT having all your society’s power source eggs in one basket.

As mentioned, synthetic fuel research is in its infancy and just like BEVs, will continue to be optimized for cost and performance.


Like it or not BEV is coming and will be phased in over 30 years. 

it is no longer a climate thing and becoming less a political thing. It is now an economic thing for mfgs. 

Things like infrastructure will be resolved where needed and is not needed to be addressed in most areas. 

Syn fuels will not be cheap and will not replace the fuel we have and BEV. What it will address is hobby cars that will be unable to survive on future fuels. 

The UK is adding more ethanol than they all ready have and it will eat carbs, fuel lines and tanks in most vintage cars. 

Advanced Driver

I think it was Consumer Reports that did a comparison of total CO2 costs of BEV vs ICE. Somewhat more CO2 is used in the mfg of BEV, but the average BEV gets even with ICE after an extra 10,000-20,000 miles on CO2 emissions, and after that the BEV is superior. I say that as somewhat who plans to drive ICE for as long as I can into the future. My Civic's engine may not sound like Mozart, but it IS Salieri to the Boxster's Mozart.

Sounds like we have a long way to go for an equal or superior form of fueling up the car and having range, etc..
New Driver

synthetic fuels sound more realistic; long live the ice and classics.