The $845,000 Porsche hybrid 918 Spyder which has been in production since 2013 has been a success amongst drivers. However, Porsche is now looking to take it one step further and release an all-electric car. The all-electric Porsche will not be offered with an optional gas-burning range extender like the Chevy Volt has. CEO Matthias Müller has stated that he believes a small engine needlessly adds weight. Instead, the electric Porsche will rely solely on a battery pack large enough to provide a driving range of anywhere between 190 and 250 miles. Porsche was not able to accomplish a range of that size four years ago. In 2011, the company built three experimental all-electric 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 conventional gasoline Porsches and had a driving range of “just” 107 miles. Needless to say, Porsche has some more development to do if they want to deliver an all-electric car with about a 200 mile range.
Now, Porsche may be able to learn something from its sister companies Audi and Volkswagen. The first Audi e-tron concept came out in 2009 and had four electric motors which, together, produced 313 HP and 3300 lb-ft of torque. Engineers at Audi 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.
Volkswagen has also announced that it will be working on a powerful new battery for its all-electric cars. Specifically, an 80kWh unit is under development. Its technology 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.
Porsche has a ways to go before it can compete with Audi’s and Volkswagen’s current all-electric offerings, but when it does catch up its all-electric car will most likely surpass the competition since that is what Porsche is known for.