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Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel

lotusExigePurpose/application

AFS provides carbon-neutral fuels to the Lotus Engineering demonstrator programme including the Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel sports car. This exciting vehicle trials various fuel blends to facilitate a successful transition from fossil fuels to sustainable, synthetic fuels.

Read more about how the Lotus 270E Tri-Fuel and AFS fuel work together

Design

The Exige 270E has peak power of 270 HP (201 kW) at 8,000 rpm, 184 lb/ft (260 Nm) of torque (at 5,500 rpm) , making it around 20% more powerful than the standard gasoline Exige S. The vehicle has several fuel tanks and monitoring systems to facilitate the comparison of different carbon-reducing fuel blends. Six fuel injectors increase fuel flow to the engine at normal and higher engine speeds and loads.

Operational experience with synthetic fuels

Low carbon number fuels like methanol and ethanol give more power when burned than conventional gasoline (petrol) fuel. Performance benefits come largely from the increased octane ratings and the vaporization of methanol and ethanol at high temperatures, which give strong charge-cooling effects. Secondary thermodynamic effects are beneficial for pressure-charging turbos and superchargers introduced by vehicle manufacturers to reduce engine size, emissions and vehicle weight.

AFS produces methanol (CH3OH) synthetically from CO2 and hydrogen. By developing processes to recover atmospheric CO2, AFS ensures that the carbon required for fuel production entirely balances tailpipe CO2 emissions resulting from the internal combustion process. The result is that a car running on AFS synthetic fuels, such as the Exige 270E Tri-fuel, can be zero-carbon (neutral) to operate.

Synthetic fuels require little change to the engines and fuel systems of current cars: methanol and new fuel blends can be stored, transported, retailed and used in the same way as today’s carbon-additive fossil fuels like petrol, gasoline and diesel.

The Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel demonstrator illustrates how easily synthetic methanol and fuel blends can be embraced as part of the road transport future, especially by comparison with the massive infrastructure changes and problems associated with all-electric vehicles.

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