Watch out Tesla, there’s a new Porsche sneaking up in your rear-view mirror. Porsche has committed to making its first all-electric vehicle, taking on Tesla Motors with a new car that will accelerate faster than the iconic Porsche 911 and recharge in a mere quarter hour.
According to a statement released Friday by parent Volkswagen AG, Porsche is moving forward with a 1 billion euro ($1.09 billion) project to make an all-electric sports car, which will be manufactured close to Stuttgart and lead to 1,000 new jobs. The new battery-powered model is to be based on the Mission E concept unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show a couple of months ago, and should be available by 2020,
Porsche Mission E a Tesla killer?
Volkswagen, which is the biggest car maker in Europe, is desperately trying to get past a major scandal over rigged emissions tests.that led to the loss of a third of the firm’s market value. Ex-Porsche head and current Vokswagen AG CEO Matthias Mueller has promised to accelerate development of electric cars as a part of a reorganization that decentralizes authority to the Volkswagen group’s brands and regional divisions.
Global sales of all-electric vehicles are still relatively low, but manufacturers anticipate growth in demand due to increasingly tighter environmental rules. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a presentation at a Paris climate conference this week that government regulators must take real action to limit carbon emissions.
The four-seat Mission E electric sports-car concept was a huge hit in Frankfurt, and offers performance numbers similar to Tesla’s high-end models. The new EV will be the latest addition to a Porsche lineup that includes the 911, the smaller Cayman sports car, the Boxster roadster, the four-door Panamera coupe, as well as the Cayenne and Macan sport utility vehicles.
Porsche does offer a high-performance 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid supercar, bit it is sold out due to extremely limited production.
The statement noted the Mission E will be able to drive over 500 kilometers (310 miles) before recharging. Moreover, the battery can reach 80% of capacity in around 15 minutes, close to half the time required to recharge the Tesla’s Model S to the same level.
“With Mission E, we are making a clear statement about the future of the brand,” Chairman Wolfgang Porsche noted enthusiastically. “Even in a greatly changing motoring world, Porsche will maintain its front-row position with this fascinating sports car.”