One of the more interesting developments to result from Tesla’s success with the Model S was the realization, among traditional automakers, that the EV revolution could no longer be ignored. Speaking to this, Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer recently conceded that the allure of Tesla vehicles has likely impacted overall Porsche sales.
“We have lots of respect for Tesla,” Zellmer said late last year, “and yes, I’m sure there are some Porsche customers, that in terms of connectivity, digital stuff in the car and electric battery in the vehicles, didn’t find the car that they wanted with Porsche so they bought somewhere else.”
Porsche’s answer to Tesla, of course, is the Mission E. Originally introduced back in 2015, the Mission E is an all-electric luxury car specifically designed to compete with Tesla at the high-end of the EV market. Spec wise, the Mission E certainly brings a lot to the table. Priced at $85,000, Porsche claims that its upcoming EV — which is set to go on sale towards the end of 2019 — will have a 0-60 time under 3.5 seconds, 310 miles of range, and a top speed in excess of 155 MPH.
For as much as Porsche has already invested in the Mission E, now comes word that the company’s overall investment in the EV space is poised to intensify. The famed automaker earlier this week issued a press release detailing its plan to double its investment in EV-related research and development to more than 6 billion euros by 2022, equivalent to about $7.4 billion in US dollars.
“We are doubling our expenditure on electromobility from around three billion euros to more than six billion euros,” Porsche’s Oliver Blume said. “Alongside development of our models with combustion engines, we are setting an important course for the future with this decision.”
Of the additional three billion euros dedicated to EV initiatives, Porsche notes that 500 million euros has already been earmarked for the Mission E and other Mission E variants. One billion euros will be used “for electrification and hybridization of the existing product range” while the remaining hundreds of millions of euros will be used for “the expansion of sites” and investments in “new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility.”
Porsche’s full press release can be viewed below:
Porsche has been putting together an unprecedented future development plan: By 2022, the sports car manufacturer will invest more than six billion euros in e-mobility, focusing on both plug-in hybrids and purely electric vehicles. The decision was made by the Porsche AG Supervisory Board at its most recent meeting. “We are doubling our expenditure on electromobility from around three billion euros to more than six billion euros,” explains Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “Alongside development of our models with combustion engines, we are setting an important course for the future with this decision.” The plans have been bolstered significantly to include around three billion euros of investment in material assets and slightly more than three billion euros in development costs.
From the additional sum of three billion euros, some 500 million euros will be used for the development of Mission E variants and derivatives, around one billion euros for electrification and hybridization of the existing product range, several hundred million for the expansion of sites, plus around 700 million euros in new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility.
At Porsche AG’s headquarters site in Stuttgart, a new paint shop, a dedicated assembly area, and a conveyor bridge for transporting the painted bodies and drive units to the final assembly area are currently being constructed. The existing engine plant is being expanded to manufacture electric drive trains and the body shop will also be developed. Investment is also planned for the Weissach Development Center. The Mission E project has created approximately 1,200 new jobs.
The purely electric Mission E sports car has a system power of 600 hp, meaning that it is estimated to require fewer than 3.5 seconds to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h. It will also be able to accelerate and brake repeatedly without any loss of performance, and it will offer a range of 500 kilometers on the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC). The charging time will be very short: Thanks to the 800-V system voltage, it will take approximately 15 minutes for 400 kilometers.
Comprehensive rapid charging infrastructure
Porsche also is becoming a member of Ionity, a joint venture with Audi, the BMW Group, Daimler AG, and Ford Motor Company. The goal of this venture is to construct and operate 400 powerful rapid charging stations along the major European traffic routes by 2020. Construction began back in 2017. To complement the work of Ionity, the European Porsche dealer network is becoming part of a rapid charging infrastructure.
In the United States, Porsche is also working with all 189 dealer partners to install fast-charging infrastructure for customers. Six rapid chargers have just been installed at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, with the Los Angeles experience center to follow. Porsche is also working with other organizations on a network of DC fast-chargers for U.S. cities and highways.
Plug-in hybrid fast becoming a success story at Porsche
The release of the new Panamera sees the third generation of a Porsche hybrid drive on the road in two different variants. Both variants offer a purely electric range of up to 50 kilometers on the NEDC. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is the flagship model in the model line – it offers an optimal combination of exceptional performance and maximum efficiency, with a four-liter V8 engine and an electric motor generating a total system power of 680 hp. The model is the sportiest car in the luxury segment – and not in spite of, but because of its hybrid drive system.
And customers seem to be very pleased with the hybrid models available: Since the market launch, around 60 percent of all vehicles in this model line delivered in Europe were equipped with these state-of-the-art drives. This figure was significantly higher on incoming orders in some countries and even reached around 90 percent in Scandinavia. Porsche Cars North America, Inc. looks forward to launching these new top-performance hybrids in the U.S. in the spring of 2018.