In June 2013, Audi opened the e-gas plant at Werlte in the Emsland region of Germany. This makes Audi the first automobile manufacturer to develop a chain of sustainable energy carriers. It starts with green electricity, water and carbon dioxide. Its end products are hydrogen and synthetic methane: Audi e-gas.
The Audi e-gas plant produces around 1,000 metric tons of e-gas per year, binding around 2,800 metric tons of CO₂. This roughly corresponds to the amount that a forest with more than 220,000 beech trees absorbs in one year. The only by-products are water and oxygen.
The Audi e-gas project goes far beyond the automotive industry. It shows how large quantities of green electricity can be stored efficiently and independently of location, by transforming it into methane and storing it in the natural gas network, the largest energy storage facility in Germany. With the e-gas project, Audi is a part of and a driver of the energy revolution. Meanwhile major German energy suppliers have picked up the idea of power-to-gas cogeneration and are following Audi with initial projects of their own.