Porsche is tooling up for 85 per cent of its sales to be all-electric cars by 2028 – including the sports car icon. By Georg Kacher.
With the all-electric Taycan less than a year away from its planned Frankfurt show unveiling, we can exclusively reveal Porsche’s 10-year electrification plan, which climaxes in the launch of an electric 911.
There will be a transition period as more hybrids and all-electric models join the line-up alongside petrol versions – but Porsche expects the tipping point to come just five years from now, when half of its sales could be hybrid or all-electric. Before then, the first step change comes in late 2019, when the production Taycan – based closely on the Mission E prototype that starred on our December 2017 cover – goes on sale. At the same time, Porsche joins the Formula E electric race series at the start of its 2019-2020 season.
The Taycan will be built on new assembly facilities at the main Zuffenhausen factory. Porsche announced that it would be recruiting 1200 extra staff because of the decision to go ahead with the Taycan, but they won’t be working only on the new BEV. The plan is to mix new recruits and experienced staff, so everybody can get trained to build electric models but also gain experience of working on both electric and petrol models. Production of the Cross Turismo will create another 300 jobs.
It’s all part of an investment of €6bn by 2022, which includes Porsche’s involvement in a fast charger network. Whereas VW and Audi will be using the latest cleaned-up post-Dieselgate diesels as part of their model mix, Porsche has dropped diesel. CEO Oliver Blume is enthusiastic about electric power, and group boss Herbert Diess has given Porsche carte blanche to go all-electric within a decade if that’s the way current trends – in both technology and consumer demand – continue to play out. In late 2020 we’ll get the production version of the Cross Turismo (pictured), the crossover spin-off of the Mission E concept. And then the floodgates open, first with battery-only versions of the next-gen Boxster and Cayman in 2022, followed by the electric Macan, Cayenne and Panamera. All these BEVs will be offered alongside hybrid and petrol-engined replacements for the current models.
The plan is for the Taycan/Cross Turismo’s architecture, codenamed J1, to be replaced by J2 underpinnings designed to work with solid-state batteries rather than the current lithium-ion batteries. Solid state batteries are better in every way – power, range, size – but are currently very expensive; development is proceeding apace.
J1 is not the only electric-car platform available to Porsche. It’s been co-developing PPE (Premium Platform Electric) with Audi, but that’s for future products, not the e-Tron and Taycan.
If Porsche is so confident that it can make BEVs that enthusiasts will enjoy driving, why wait until 2028 to make an electric 911? Because the hybrid version expected to join the new 992-generation 911 line-up will be a convincing solution for many markets; because battery weight has to come down in sync with more efficient cell chemistry; and because even a planet-saving 911 must be an ultra-fast hardcore piece of kit. Porsche is convinced it will be able to deliver on all counts by 2028.
US focus groups wanted the Cross Turismo to be a full SUV. Porsche disagreed; finished car will stay close to this concept. Porsche’s electric factory within a factory will look like this in a matter of months.