Aramco is joining forces with Zhejiang Geely and Renault to develop efficient internal-combustion engines, including engines designed to run on e-fuel and hydrogen.
The Saudi Arabian oil giant on Thursday signed a letter of intent to become a minority shareholder in a new company to be established by Geely and Renault, one focused on the development of internal-combustion engines for use in hybrid powertrains.
Called PWT, the company aims to become a global supplier of engines, transmissions, and complete hybrid powertrains with an annual capacity of around five million units. The company will utilize existing powertrain plants and R&D centers of Geely and Renault.
Aramco said its investment in PWT will help support development of e-fuel (commonly referred to as synthetic fuel) and next-generation hydrogen solutions—two fuel sources that have the potential to eliminate carbon emissions from internal-combustion engines.
Aramco is also working with Formula 1 to develop an e-fuel for use in the sport by 2026.
An e-fuel is any fuel in which the carbon circle is completely neutral so the carbon utilized to produce the fuel is the same quantity as the carbon emitted from the internal-combustion engine when burning the fuel. The production process typically involves some form of carbon capture technology. Porsche and its partners already have a pilot plant in Chile producing e-fuel.
But Aramco is not only developing e-fuel for use in race cars. The fuel is being developed with a view toward producing it in quantities sufficient enough to supply most cars across the world.