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Chery Unveils Prototype Methanol-Fueled Cars

Interfax-China. China’s Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. unveiled prototype methanol-fueled cars at their research base in northern China's Shanxi Province, a Chery employee told Interfax at the Innovation Forum on Clean Vehicle Technology in Beijing.

The first batch of 20 cars has been tested and is ready to be put into full-scale production, according to the report.

Coal-rich Shanxi Province has been a center for exploring the potential for methanol-fueled cars in China. Coal-to-methanol technology is well-established, and China is considering the use of methanol as a fuel in coal-rich areas of the country.



Max Reid

Methanol costs less than 1/2 the cost of gasolene, but its energy content is also 1/2 that of gasolene.

If its flex-fuelled like E85, then it makes sense. For short distance driving we can use Methanol and for long, switching over to gasolene.

Harry B

lots of coal and no oil, prefer liquid to gaseous fuels, prefer SI engine operation? methanol is the way to go...

flex fuelling seems necessary - put whatever blend of gasoline / methanol is available in your tank and the EMS sorts it out, and allows infrastructure to develop at it's own pace

the great thing about methanol is you can jack up the compression ratio, increase engine efficiency and output, and if you want boost it to get really high specifics and downsize, but really need direct injection for this

I guess we just need to sort out the toxicity...

Harry B

...oh, and the cold start...


The reason Methanol never took off here in USA.
Because it's very toxic!

It's used only very rarely as a racing fuel, because it causes less explosive car fires.

That said, almost all Methanol is actually reformed from natural gas.


Whats with all these novel natural gas conversion methods anyways?

CH4 -> H2 : Hydrogen
CH4 -> CH3OH
CH4 -> NH3 + More CH4 for processing -> C2H5OH

Why not just burn the natural gas in the first place?


Whats with all these novel natural gas conversion methods anyways?

CH4 -> H2 : Hydrogen
CH4 -> CH3OH : Methanol
CH4 -> NH3 + More CH4 for processing -> C2H5OH : Ethanol

Why not just burn the natural gas in the first place?

Harry B

CH4 -> H2 : so you can sequester C at source
CH4 -> CH3OH : liquid fuels easier to distribute & store, have greter energy density
CH4 -> NH3 + More CH4 for processing -> C2H5OH : Ethanol...yes, that seems a bit strange

also how about CH4 -> FTD & DME?

having said all that you're right, burning CH4 in the first place makes sense where possible

main source of methanol in China however is more likely to be coal...

Kalen M.

Methanol is considerably less toxic than gasoline. It's not a carcinogen, is water-soluble and digestible by bacteria, and occurs in trace amounts in food.

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