The Six Billion Euro Plan doesn’t make Porsche chief Oliver Blume nervous. The company is budgeting that amount, virtually $10 billion over the five years from 2018 to 2022 to electrify its sports cars, SUVs and the factories that build them.
The Taycan, Porsche’s first-ever fully electric car, will be followed by others. It was revealed recently in simultaneous events Europe, China and America, and will reach Australia next March.
Interviewed shortly after unveiling the low and lovely four-door coupe near Berlin, the CEO explains why he believes plug-in is the right play for Porsche.
“We think that electromobility fits very perfectly to our brand because of the acceleration but also because of its sustainability,” Blume says.
“Sustainability is one important pillar of our company strategy and so we thought about which technology is the best one to take.”
Porsche’s study compared the overall energy efficiency of electric driving with two other technologies, hydrogen and eco fuels made from renewable resources.
“Electromobility had an advantage three times better than hydrogen and six times better than e-fuels,” Blume says.
“There’s good potential for hydrogen and e-fuels in future but, from today, electromobility is the best and fits Porsche.”
Blume is confident that half the Porsches sold six years from now will be electrified, meaning full electric cars such as the new Taycan as well as the plug-in hybrids it already produces. The company has done detailed analysis of how different markets around the world will develop in future.
“We will continue with our emotional and performing petrol engines, our hybrid engines, which are very successful in the Panamera and Cayenne, for example, and now with the third pillar,” said Blume, referring to full electric models.
“With this strategy for the next 10, 15 years we feel very comfortable and very flexible, being able to react, whatever will happen in the markets.”
Globally, he expects, markets will develop at very different speeds.
The Taycan is the first production electric car to use an 800V battery, double the EV norm, but Blume doesn’t know how long Porsche will keep this advantage.
“We haven’t really thought about how long it would last (at) the top of this technology.”
What is certain, he says, is that Taycan tech will be seen in future full-electric Porsches.
Blume doesn’t fear pitting the Taycan against the US brand that wears a halo in the eyes of many EV fans.
“I was asked a lot about Tesla, and I have a lot of respect for what Elon Musk is doing there, having the courage to start the company from zero.”
“But Tesla wasn’t our orientation. Our orientation was to have a car you can drive like a 911, our benchmark.”
Originally published as Porsche plots sports-car revolution