The Porsche hybrid 918 Spyder went into production last year thanks to the “outstanding customer response” for the $845,000 vehicle. Given Porsche’s interest in green speed, it comes as no surprise that in a recent interview with German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport, Porsche CEO Matthias Müller revealed his desire to launch an all-electric sports car. But can Porsche create a fast EV with a practical range?
We know that an all-electric Porsche will not be offered with an optional gas-burning range extender. Müller has stated that he believes a small engine needlessly adds weight. Instead, the proposed electric Porsche will rely on a battery pack big enough to provide a driving range of anywhere between 190 and 250 miles.
But Porsche wasn’t able to accomplish a range of that size three years ago. In 2011, the company built three experimental, all-electric Porsche Boxster E models, and entered them into a large-scale trial to study the feasibility of EV development. All three Boxster Es were slower than the average Porsche (which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re slow) and had a driving range of “just” 107 miles. So Porsche, has some work to do if they want to deliver that 200-ish mile range.
Porsche may be able to learn a thing or two from sister companies Audi and Volkswagen, however. The first Audi e-tron concept debuted in 2009 was “a monster” with four electric motors which, together, produced an impressive 313 HP coupled with a jaw-dropping 3300 lb-ft of torque. And engineers and researchers were able to improve the battery pack, even going as far as to change the chemical makeup. The result is an Audi EV with close to 400 km, or 250 miles of driving range between charges.
Similarly, Volkswagen recently announced plans to work on a powerful new battery for its EV fleet. Speaking at the Geneva motor show, Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser said that “an 80kWh unit is under development using our own technology. It would provide between three and four times the battery power in a given package.” This means that a battery of equivalent physical size to that used in the new 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf could hold the amount of energy in a top-end Tesla Model S.
Of course, Müller did not provide a timeframe for when Porsche will decide if going all-electric is a wise business decision, but the company has to come up with something big to follow up the 919 Hybrid race car it showed at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show. Expect a “concept” version of an all-electric Porsche to bow at next year’s Frankfurt and Geneva shows, then.
Source | Photos: Left Lane News