We’ve got your daily dose of sci-fi right here: Audi has figured out how to cook up artificial, totally carbon-neutral gasoline out of plant material. And as if that’s not radical enough, the company’s next goal is to find a way to make the fuel, called ‘e-benzin,’ through a process involving only water, hydrogen, solar power, and carbon dioxide.

The fuel boasts the equivalent of 100 octane by fossil fuel-based gasoline standards. It’s also extremely clean burning, so if the carmaker can figure out how to brew it sans biomass and do so in meaningful quantities, it could, in theory, become a cleaner source of energy than the battery packs that power fully electric cars.

We wonder how the petroleum industry would react to an automaker making the switch from building cars that need fossil fuel, to coming up with a viable alternative to it. And further, would e-benzin be proprietary to Audi and offered only to drivers of the brand’s vehicles?

We have so many questions, but we suspect there will lots of time to ask them. In the meantime, Audi’s next step is to test its über-fuel to see how it burns in an internal combustion engine.

Forscher produzieren erstmals Audi e-benzin

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