Amazon throws more weight behind e-fuels • Tech cranks stick

Starting next year, Amazon plans to add electrofuels to some diesel delivery vans through a deal with Infinium. Amazon did not say what it would pay or how much for the synthetic fuel, but the conglomerate plans to cover “about 5 million miles of travel per year” using e-fuels, according to a statement.

It’s unclear how long it will last, but the trial will begin with Amazon trucks transporting items between sellers and distribution centers in Southern California.

Spades are spades, and this is an opportunity to say that Amazon is trying new things to remove carbon. Amazon’s climate marketing efforts are evident as the company’s footprint is large (and growing). But the deal is also an interesting test of Amazon’s stake in the diesel alternative. The shopping website participated in a $69 million funding round for Infinium a year ago through the Climate Fund, and it stands to gain if e-fuels take off.

We know that if Amazon expands its use of e-fuels, after making initial deals with Infinium, aggressively cost-effective e-fuels could be used for freight. That’s interesting because no one has proven that e-fuels can be cheap enough to warrant the resources needed to produce them on a large scale.

Generally, e-fuels are made by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, then combining the former with carbon dioxide to create a drop-in alternative to diesel or jet fuel. Infinium hasn’t shared much about its recipe, but says it uses renewable energy, industrial CO2 waste and green hydrogen “in a special process.” In any case, e-fuels are hydrocarbons and no, you cannot download them.

“E-fuels can be very low-carbon” when produced with renewable energy, but “can’t be low-cost at the same time,” said the International Clean Transportation Council, a nonprofit environmental research group. In the year In 2020, he called e-fuels “inherently inefficient, converting at least half of the energy in electricity to liquid or gaseous fuels.”

Dr. Debapriya Chakraborty, a UC Davis researcher who studies hybrids and EVs, told TechCrunch, “The cost-effectiveness of electrofuel and battery electric technology will depend on how fast battery prices fall and how quickly the price falls for applications like heavy-duty trucking.” Development of battery technology that enables hydrogen production and transportation and ultra-fast battery charging.

When asked about e-fuel pricing, an Amazon spokesperson called the Infinium deal “one of many important steps we’re taking as we begin to test new solutions to decarbonize,” referring to the large delivery van deal. With Rivian. Amazon recently announced plans to work with Plug Power hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer to power some of its forklifts and trucks.

Some car manufacturers are investing in e-fuels, including Porsche and Lamborghini.

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