Major diesel changes to be made as Audi introduce 'essential' renewable fuel

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Audi is set to introduce a new renewable fuel which will be used in a number of their diesel vehicles as a way for the German brand to help cut emissions. Renewable fuels, or reFuels as they are sometimes known, make it possible to operate combustion engines in a more climate-friendly manner. 

They are an effective means of defossilisation – both in the short term and after 2033, when the last Audi with a combustion engine will roll off the production line in Europe.

Like the entire Volkswagen Group, Audi is pursuing the vision of carbon-neutral mobility and wants to achieve net climate neutrality by 2050.

While still focusing on vehicles with electric batteries, Audi is increasing the environmentally sustainability of its combustion engines.

The company has now approved many of its current six-cylinder diesel engines for use with the renewable fuel HVO – hydrotreated vegetable oil.

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Oliver Hoffmann, Chief Development Officer at Audi, praised the move, saying it will help reduce emissions while working on their electric vehicles.

“With our ‘Vorsprung 2030’ strategy, we’re pursuing the clearly defined goal that all new models we launch worldwide as of 2026 will be all-electric only.

“In this way, we’re making an essential contribution on the road to carbon-neutral mobility.

“At the same time, we’re optimising our existing combustion engine portfolio for more efficiency and lower emissions. 

“One way we’re doing this is by creating the requisite technical foundations for the use of sustainable fuels such as HVO.”

Residual and waste materials, such as waste cooking oil from the food industry or residues from agriculture, are used in the manufacture of HVO.

By incorporating hydrogen, the oils are converted which modifies the properties of the vegetable oils to make them suitable for use in diesel engines.

They can be added to conventional diesel, replacing fossil components, or else used unmixed as 100 percent pure fuel.

In 2021, a challenging year marked globally by restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic and semiconductor shortage, Audi UK delivered a total of 117,993 models.

That represented an increase of 9.3 percent compared with the previous year with Audi completing the year as the overall number two best-selling brand.

Matthias Schober, head of powertrain development for V-TFSI, TDI and PHEV at Audi, said: “As the cetane rating of HVO is around 30 percent higher, the combustibility of the engines is enhanced.

“The positive effects of this are particularly noticeable when cold starting.

“We tested the effects on various components, the performance, and exhaust emissions in specific validation runs before granting approval.”



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