Every automaker has some sort of grand plan to make its products a little kinder to Mother Nature. A common trend these days is to ditch the internal-combustion engine and go completely electric. But such a move isn’t without its drawbacks. Battery production, for example, is generally a dirty process. But Koenigsegg says it has an ingenious way of dealing with its zero-emission goals, and it is prepared to go to the depths of the earth in order to make things happen.
The Swedish automaker says that it plans to harness volcanoes as a means to make its manufacturing processes truly carbon-neutral. In this Bloomberg interview, company boss Christian von Koenigsegg is looking at technology pioneered in Iceland. Carbon dioxide emitted from semi-active volcanoes is captured and sent to a facility where the gas is converted into methanol.
The methanol is then used to power fuel refineries. The products from these plants are eventually consumed by ships or trucks, making a big part of the production process as close to carbon-neutral as possible. And since Iceland experiences frequent volcanic activity, there is no shortage of natural sources of carbon dioxide.
This technology seems to fit Koenigsegg’s goal of making performance cars with environment-friendly propulsion systems. The 1,700hp Gemera, for example, runs on a hybrid powertrain that has an ethanol-powered 2.0-liter three-cylinder engine working in tandem with three electric motors. The firm doesn’t believe in simply going electric. Its approach to fast cars is getting the mix of piston and battery power just right.