29 Mar 22

Geely starts e-fuel trial in Denmark

Chinese automotive group Geely, also parent of Volvo, has started a 15-month trial using green methanol e-fuel and methanol cars in Denmark. 

Geely is joining a Danish collaboration between Circle K petrol stations, Aalborg University and the Green Hub Fund. The pilot project will test and trial the production and development of green e-methanol, and its use in methanol cars. 

Green methanol

E-fuels, short for electro-fuels, are synthetic hydrocarbons that can replace traditional vehicle fuels like petrol and diesel. One of them is e-methanol, produced by combining green hydrogen and captured CO2 from industrial sources. This is done via electrolysis; if the power for that process comes from renewable energy, the result is also called “green methanol”.

Geely is a world leader in this field. It has been developing green methanol and methanol vehicles for over 17 years. In 2016, the holding invested in Carbon Recycling International, which synthesises green methanol on an industrial scale.

70% reduction

While still emitting some gases, green methanol can help reduce net carbon emissions. Geely claims its Emgrand methanol sedan and Farizon M100 heavy truck reduce CO2 emissions by 70% compared to their petrol equivalents. A previous trial with the Emgrand in Iceland even demonstrated that it had an overall (so-called “well-to-wheel”) emission of just 46 g/km of CO2, which is even less than many EVs. 

Denmark, which has pledged to reduce its CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030, is a world leader in sustainability. However, energy from wind and solar fluctuates with the weather. 

Power to X

The solution: converting excess renewable power into more permanent forms of energy. That principle is called “Power-to-X”, and one of the X’s is green methanol. Danish shipping giant Mærsk is already using green methanol for some of its commercial vessels.

Geely’s Danish trial will consist of two Emgrands and the world’s first M100, in operation in and around Aalborg. The trial hopes to demonstrate the viability of green methanol for mobility in Europe in terms of affordability, sustainability and ease of use. 

Image: Trine Bramsen, Danish Minister for Transport, in Aalborg, filling up one of Geely’s Emgrands with methanol.
Credit: Geely

Authored by: Frank Jacobs