9 Oct 2020
Leading the charge: What does Porsche have in store for the future of electric performance motoring?
Article by Tom Fox, Porsche Preston Centre Principal
In the last ten years, electric vehicle registrations in the UK have swelled from under 1,000 to over a quarter of a million. Perhaps Ferdinand Porsche could have predicted the appeal of the new electric-powered cars?
As early as 1893, a young Ferdinand was fascinated by electricity. Although only 18, he installed an electric lighting system in his parents’ house. The first vehicles Porsche designed featured electric drives — so the history of Porsche begins with the electric drive.
Fast forward 127 years and, today, motorists are adapting to a new reality of silently-efficient electric engines; descendants of the technology that Ferdinand Porsche pioneered in his early career.
When we talk about electric cars today, many people still think about small city centre runabouts. They share stories of electric vehicles hampered by battery capacity. But, as battery technology improves, Porsche is determined to offer an exhilarating antidote to the sedate approach of other car manufacturers.
Adrenaline, driving and pleasure
In 2015, the Mission-E concept car was revealed. It was a clear statement of intent. There was no doubt that Porsche held loftier ambitions than a simple city-centre runabout. Porsche is renowned for adrenaline, driving and pleasure. They were never going to compromise.
Earlier this year, the Porsche Taycan was launched. The Taycan is the production legacy of the Mission-E vision; and Porsche’s first full-electric sports car. The name translates as “lively young horse”, referencing the centre of the Porsche crest.
At the launch this year, Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG explained: “The Taycan starts a new era for Porsche, linking our heritage to the future. It carries forward the success story of our brand – a brand that has fascinated and thrilled people the world over for more than 70 years.”
There are several reasons to be excited about the Taycan.
The Taycan is the first production vehicle in the world with a system voltage of 800 volts (electric cars usually have 400 volts). This means that the high-performance battery can be recharged up to 100 kilometres (62 plus miles) in just over five minutes. So, no need for any ‘range anxiety’ here with a battery capable of delivering upwards of 225 miles.
The doubling in the standard charging voltage to 800V has not only reduced charging times but reduced the weight of the car too. This is thanks to the power being transmitted by thinner copper wires.
A recent AutomotiveINNOVATIONS Report published by the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) identified the Porsche Taycan is the most important innovation driver in the global automotive market. 13 of the 27 new developments in the Taycan – including the 800-volt architecture – are world firsts.
The Taycan offers a great example of what electric performance motoring can aspire to be. It looks amazing; wide and flat at the front with highly contoured wings and a sporty roofline.
The cabin features some lovely design touches like the glass-effect Porsche logo integrated into the rear light bar. The driver enjoys a unique minimalist experience. The number of buttons and switches has been scaled down. That’s because the whole car can be controlled simply using voice commands.
It’s the first Porsche with no leather on the interior, too. Innovative recycled materials are used instead. It’s an approach that reaffirms the company’s commitment to sustainability.
The green agenda is prompting more businesses in all sectors to think carefully about their impact on the environment. The automotive manufacturing sector is no exception. Sustainability is a central business objective of Porsche; reducing CO₂ whilst non-avoidable emissions are being offset on a voluntary basis.
Porsche is investing in UK vehicle charging infrastructure too. Thanks to a partnership with Ionity and an ever-growing network of public chargers, there’s no need to worry about charging on your journey, wherever you go.
In cities, on roads, and in remote destinations, innovative solutions by Porsche E-Performance means we can all access a wide and reliable charging network. You can even install a coil in your garage floor. Then power is transferred wirelessly each time the car is parked over it.
Refuelling in the future looks very different!
To find out more about electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the Porsche range visit:
Porsche Centre Preston, Centenary House, Watery Lane, Preston PR2 1QJ