You know the electric car revolution is moving forward when Porsche announces it expects 50% of the cars its sells to come with a plug by 2025, and 80% by 2030. Last year, the company sold more cars — 301,915 — than at any time in its history. In Europe, nearly 40% of them were either a plug-in hybrid or a battery-electric car. The Taycan — 41,296 — outsold the iconic 911 — 38,464 — but the two biggest sellers were the Macan — 88,362 — and the Cayenne — 83,074.
Porsche Electric Car Strategy
Porsche had its annual financial meeting last week, where CEO Oliver Blume announced the Boxster/Cayman twins, known as 718 series cars to Porsche aficionados, would become battery-electric cars “by the middle of the decade.” Autoblog points out that Blume stopped short of revealing precisely when the electric models will make their debut or when the current 718s will retire, but the timeline corresponds with the 2025 launch of the Euro 7 emissions rules that are designed to make many gasoline and diesel powered cars unviable. It’s not a coincidence that Porsche previously said the current Macan will retire at that time as well and be replaced by an electrified model.
The path toward battery-electric power for the Porsche 718 cars was made clear last year when the company revealed its Mission R concept. The challenge for Porsche engineers has been how to control the weight of its electric cars so as not to compromise the agility and feel of a “true” Porsche. The battery-powered versions of the Boxster and Cayman will tip the scales at around 3,650 pounds — about 625 pounds more than the current cars. Rear-wheel drive will be the default mode, but there are rumors that dual motor versions of the cars may be under consideration.
According to Electrive, Porsche is planning to invest around €500 million in its main factory in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen to convert its 718 series production lines to manufacture battery-electric models. The first of the new cars are expected to roll off the assembly line in 2023 — the same year the battery-electric Macan begins production at the factory in Leipzig.
All Of The Above?
Oliver Blume hinted at the meeting last week that the 911 — the sports car that has been in production in one form or another since 1964 — will get a plug-in hybrid version at some unspecified point in the future. According to CNBC, the company plans to continue offering internal combustion engines alongside its plug-in hybrid and battery-electric models. In fact, it is investing $24 million to develop e-fuels — cleaner burning substitutes for gasoline.
That plan may have taken a hit this week, when the German government relinquished its own e-fuel goals and embraced a complete ban on cars with internal combustion engines by 2035 that is in line with the policies of the European Union. The Russian insanity in Ukraine is forcing lots of people to rethink how much they want to rely on psychopathic lunatics for the fuels they need to power their economies.
Porsche has become the most profitable part of the Volkswagen Group and intends to maintain that lead as the EV revolution moves forward and more cars bearing the Porsche crest trade gas tanks for battery packs.