Porsche’s formidable EV plans don’t embody an all-electric 911

The fully electric Porsche Taycan Turbo.

Source: Porsche AG

The German luxury car manufacturer Porsche assumes that it will significantly increase sales of fully electric vehicles in the coming years. Don’t expect an EV version of its iconic 911 sports car, if any.

Porsche boss Oliver Blume said the 911 will be the “last Porsche that seeks full electrification” if it ever becomes fully electric. This is despite the announcement of a new plan for at least 80% of the vehicles sold, which are to be electrified by 2030.

“The 911 is our icon. We will continue to build the 911 with an internal combustion engine,” he told reporters during a media call prior to his annual meeting on Friday morning. “The concept of the 911 doesn’t allow a fully electric car because we have the engine in the back. To put the weight of the battery in the back, you couldn’t drive the car.”

Porsche reports that 17% of vehicles sold worldwide last year were electrified, including a third of sales in Europe.

“Very sporty” 911 hybrid

“Electrified” can be a fully electric vehicle like the Porsche Taycan or hybrid and plug-in hybrids that combine electrification with combustion engines, which Porsche is currently also offering. According to Blume, a “large part” of Porsche’s vehicle sales by 2030 will be purely electric.

The “majority” of the 20% of its sales that won’t be electrified by 2030 will be the 911, he said. That doesn’t mean that no changes will be made to the car. He said the company was working on a “very sporty hybridization” of the car, citing the lessons learned from a Porsche hybrid racing car.

The company is also investing $ 24 million in “e-fuels,” which should contribute to another new goal for Porsche to be carbon neutral by 2030. Porsche representatives said e-fuels are climate-neutral. They said they could behave like gasoline and enable owners of current and classic vehicles to drive more environmentally friendly.

“Porsche is aiming for a climate-neutral balance in the entire value chain by 2030,” said Blume. “We are the first major automobile manufacturer and want to be a role model for the automobile industry in order to achieve this goal.”

For perspective, General Motors recently said it plans to be all electric vehicles by 2035 to be carbon neutral by 2040, while smaller automakers like Volvo plan to be carbon neutral by 2040, including supplying electric vehicles by the end of 2040 this decade.

Profitable electric vehicles

Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke said in a separate media call that the automaker’s transition to electric vehicles will be profitable. This is a change from EVs in the past few years from other automakers, most of which have been sold at a loss to meet regulations.

Meschke said the Taycan is currently profitable and on a “very good path” to achieve double-digit margins. Porsche has set itself the goal of improving its operating profit by a cumulative 10 billion euros by 2025 and then by 3 billion euros per year.

“We have to earn the same money with EV products as we do with our combustion engine models. That is a must,” said Meschke. “Otherwise we will not be able to achieve the same level of profitability as in the past. That is our goal.”

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Porsche set a new sales record last year of 28.7 billion euros, exceeding the previous year’s figure by more than 100 million euros. At 4.2 billion euros, operating profit was slightly below the previous year’s figure.

Porsche’s EV goals are the same as those of parent company Volkswagen. The German automaker announced efforts earlier this week to significantly increase mass adoption of electric vehicles, including building six battery cell factories in Europe by 2030. The company, which also includes brands like Audi and Volkswagen, is slated to be climate neutral by 2050.

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