McLaren Investigating Synthetic Fuel


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As revealed on CarScoops today, McLaren Automotive Group is looking into keeping the internal combustion engine a reality in the future.

According to COO Jens Ludman, McLaren is already working on building a development testbed car that would run entirely on synthetic fuel. The research goal is to compare the viability of synthetic fuel against battery-electric vehicles in terms of lowering emissions.

McLaren believes that synthetic fuel could be a more economical and environmentally friendly alternative to battery power, if the production of the battery itself was factored into CO2 emissions and overall pollution.

McLaren Elva details

This is because Lithium, Nickel, and many other minerals required to make batteries that power current EV cars are extremely difficult to mine without causing pollution and having an environmental impact.

McLaren believes that the fuels would be far more environmentally friendly, as they can be produced using solar energy. As well, there is already an infrastructure and industry based around transporting and providing liquid fuels.

The overall objective is to, in effect, “save” the internal combustion engine, while also reducing its environmental impact. As well, by tying in a hybrid-drive system, it would make the environmental impact even lower, for example operating in battery-only mode when in stop-start traffic.

McLaren P1

McLaren has an established history with hybrid systems, especially with their McLaren P1 halo car.

As well, McLaren is working on a plug-in hybrid model to compliment its sports series lineup, which currently includes the 540C, the 570GT, and the 570S. This model is expected to be announced at some point this year, and made available for sale in 2021 or 2022.