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Porsche's Taycan Charge

Story and Photos by Fred Aikins and Porsche Newsroom


 

Performance of Porsche vehicles has always been electrifying, but with the upcoming introduction of the all-new Porsche Taycan, Porsche goes full electric. As Porsche’s first all-electric model, the Taycan (pronounced ‘tie-can’) goes on sale toward the end of this year as a 2020 model. Taycan means ‘lively young horse,’ according to Porsche, and references the horse found at the center of the Porsche crest. The Taycan is the production version of the stunning Mission E concept vehicle Porsche showed at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show.

 

With 600+hp routed through a pair of permanently synchronous motors to all four wheels, the Taycan boasts a claimed 0-60mph time of under 3.5 seconds and 0-124mph (200kph) in less than 12 seconds. In other words, buyers opting for electrons rather than gasoline will still receive the performance expected from a Porsche.

 

Power for the Taycan will consist of an ~90kW liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack good for an estimated 310 miles (500km) of range (European cycle; U.S. EPA figures are expected closer to launch). Using advanced 800-watt charging, the Taycan is expected to be able to recharge its battery to 80% in just 15 minutes, a significant advantage over existing EVs that require 45 minutes to four hours for such a recharge. Porsche dealers have committed to spending ~$70M on rechargers at Porsche dealerships across the country and Porsche Taycan drivers will also be able to access the nationwide network of recharging stations being constructed by parent VW’s Electrify America initiative (part of the company’s ‘Diesel gate’ settlement with the U.S. government.)

 

A state-of-the-art “factory-within-a-factory” production line at Porsche’s main plant in Zuffenhausen will produce the all-new Taycan. Latest production estimates for the Taycan, which will be offered in all of Porsche’s primary markets including the U.S., Europe and China, are up to 40,000 vehicles annually.

 

As for competition, the electric elephant in the room is the groundbreaking Tesla Model S EV sedan. The slightly larger Model S boasts ~300 miles of range from a larger battery. In the Taycan, the Model S gets something it has never faced before – a real, direct competitor. The face-off between the two will be closely watched by EV and performance car enthusiasts alike.

 

Pricing for the Taycan will be announced later this year, but expect it to be competitive with the upper models of the Tesla Model S, meaning ~$90,000 to $130,000, depending on options.

 

Macan Goes Electric

 

At the end of February, Porsche announced that the next-generation Macan compact SUV would be all electric when it arrives early next decade, likely in 2022 or 2023. The nextgen Macan will be built in Porsche’s factory in Leipzig, Germany.

 

Porsche’s best-selling model line by annual volume, the Macan, which was introduced in 2014, has been responsible for attracting new customers to the brand, as well as retaining and expanding the existing customer base.

 

The upcoming Macan EV was foreshadowed by the Mission E Cross Tourismo concept that was shown at last year’s Geneva Auto Salon and was well received by the media and public, alike.

 

While pricing for the new Macan EV won’t be announced until much closer to its on-sale date early next decade, expect it to carry a premium over the recently introduced Audi e-tron CUV, with which it likely will share EV components.

 

What’s Next?

 

Porsche has announced that by 2025, 50% of all Porsche models sold worldwide will be electrified, meaning full-EV or plug-in hybrids. The increasing use of EVs and hybrid powertrains allow Porsche to meet increasingly stringent emission and fuel consumption regulations in Europe, China and the U.S., while still allowing the driving performance that Porsche buyers expect.

 

Eventually, EVs will be required as a number of cities (Paris, London, etc.) and countries (China) have announced their intent to ban all petrol-fueled vehicles by 2030. Even regulators in California, one of Porsche’s largest markets, have begun considering a ban on ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles by 2030.

 

Porsche is not alone in moving toward EVs and electrification. Luxury competitors including Audi (e-tron), Mercedes-Benz (EQ models), BMW (iNext) and Jaguar (I-Pace) have all entered the market or will shortly.

 

One thing none of the current crop of EVs has managed to achieve is consistent profitability (Note: Tesla has reported inconsistent quarterly profits). Given the Porsche’s per-unit profits are recognized as being among the highest in the industry (you’ve seen their options and parts pricing, haven’t you?) the upcoming Taycan and Macan EV could become some of the most consistently profitable EVs on the market, which bodes well for Porsche’s longterm outlook and for the company’s continued production of sports cars and performance models.

 

Beyond the Taycan and Macan EV, expect other Porsche models to get either the full-EV treatment or, at the very least, plug-in hybrid models, including the Boxster / Cayman, Cayenne and Panamera lines. Does this mean that even the iconic 911 will get a full-EV or plug-in hybrid model? Probably, though Porsche will likely hold off on that one until they are completely confident that it can be done with the acceleration and vehicle dynamics that Porsche enthusiasts have come to expect from the 911.

 

This story and photos can be found in the April 2019 Pando on pages 22-25

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