Audi is making up for lost time by aiming to be a leader in renewable energy. As such, they have announced plans to build a new plant that will produce synthetic natural gas.

Audi has unveiled their new e-gas project, which aims to make the company a leader in renewable energy.

While the specifics are somewhat technical, Audi will build a new plant that produces hydrogen by means of electrolysis. The hydrogen can then be used in fuel-cell vehicles or combined with CO2 to create methane (aka synthetic natural gas or e-gas as Audi calls it).

As you'd expect, Audi isn't doing this out of the kindness of their hearts as the company will produce a new natural gas engine which is based on the four-cylinder TFSI. Specifications haven't been released, but the first engine is slated to be launched in 2013.

According to Michael Dick, a member of Audi's Board of Management for Technical Development, "Along with our project partners, AUDI AG is realizing a method which puts CO2-neutral mobility within reach. Our technology has the potential to give new direction to the discussion on expanding renewable sources of energy. We ourselves are taking the initiative and are complementing electric mobility with an equally eco-friendly concept for long distances."

Check out the press release for more information

Gallery: Audi A3 TCNG e-gas project announced - methane powered car production in 2013 [video]

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