Porsche-CEO Oliver Blume released a German Interview This is the translation regarding the part about the future of electric, hybrid and 911 cars. There are some key info:
- The next generation 911 will be mild-hybrid and not plugin-hybrid
- Porsche is aware of the battery issue “rumors”. They are investigating it.
- They still be high on eFuels.
The interview text translated from German:
With this innovative vehicle, we have been able to prove what is possible in an electric sports car. The Taycan is highly popular with experts and customers alike. Compared to 2020, we doubled sales – to exactly 41,296 – putting it on a par with the 911, which also sold better than ever. Who would have thought that a few years ago? With our well-positioned product range, we also broke through the 300,000 car mark last year. However, volume is not a leading figure for us. For us, exclusivity, quality and individual products take precedence over unit sales.
The Taycan also causes problems. You had software problems, now there are rumors about overheated batteries:
Blume: … every product launch has its challenges at the beginning. Especially with innovations and new technologies. Basically, when issues come up, we look into them very carefully. We also investigate rumors.
While other companies are struggling, Porsche is selling more cars despite the crisis and still earning good money. What are you going to do with this comfortable position?
Blume: In any case, we will maintain our pioneering spirit and courage. At the same time, we will stay grounded and continue to strategically sharpen the Porsche profile. For example, in the areas of digitalization and e-mobility. We are making faster progress than planned. Last year, one in four vehicles sold worldwide was already electrified.
Does that include hybrids, i.e. combustion engines with electric drives?
Blume: Yes, but the proportion of all-electric vehicles is now larger. The success of the Taycan is a key driver. For us, this is a confirmation of our strategy: We focused on electromobility earlier than other manufacturers – and the course is still right.
Does that include the internal combustion engine, or does that have an expiration date for you?
Blume: We don’t have a specific date. In the end, it’s up to the customers and the regions of the world. The special task for us is to make the internal combustion engine virtually CO₂-neutral with synthetic fuels. To this end, we are investing in the development of eFuels.
Do you think these man-made fuels have a chance? The prices are still extremely high.
Blume: That’s our plan. We want to produce the synthetic fuels where sustainable energy is available in unlimited quantities – for example, at our pilot plant in southern Chile. There, strong winds blow almost all year round. In the long term, we believe that prices of less than two U.S. dollars per liter are realistic. And that’s when things get interesting. We see ourselves as a pioneer of sustainable mobility. With a focus on e-mobility, sensibly supplemented by eFuels. These are not in conflict with each other.
Porsche wants to be the technology driver?
Blume: We are indeed in a pioneering role. Just as we have led the way in electromobility. With more than one billion existing vehicles worldwide, even a percentage blend in the fuel is a target. In addition, the largest field of application for eFuels is in aviation and shipping, where demand is high.
Will Porsche also earn additional money in the future from the sale of equipment for the production of such eFuels?
Blume: For now, it’s a matter of getting the technology off the ground. We see our own areas of application for eFuels: for testing or initial filling of a 911 as well as for our Experience Centers or motorsport. At the same time, we are continuing to develop our electric vehicles. In the process, we are also looking at what form of energy our customers will be using in the future. That’s why we will invest more than one billion euros in sustainable energy sources over the next ten years. Solar power plants, wind turbines and eFuels.
Is this the new profile of a car manufacturer? You also have to cover sustainable energy generation?
Blume: Sustainability is a global responsibility and is only credible if it is thought of holistically. Porsche alone will not save the world, but we see ourselves as pioneers. And as a role model. With our actions, we want to show how it can be done and take responsibility for society. But we also want to motivate others to join in.
Isn’t that just window dressing? Porsche models weigh a lot and travel very fast – so they consume a lot of fuel.
Blume: I have to disagree with that. Take our Panamera: In Europe, we already sell more than 70 percent as plug-in hybrids. In cities, the Panamera can be driven with zero local emissions. In 2030, we want to deliver around 80 percent of our vehicles with an electric drive – as a hybrid or fully electric. These two examples show that Porsche is making its contribution to sustainability.
Then at this point we have to ask about the current development: Have you managed to meet the CO₂ targets for 2021?
Blume: We are delighted that the Taycan has been so well received in the market. And also about the high proportion of hybrids in the Cayenne and Panamera. We are therefore very optimistic that we have achieved the CO₂ targets in the European fleet that we set for Porsche in the VW Group.
From the past, Porsche has an image that has nothing whatsoever to do with sustainability. Do your customers go along with the change?
Blume: Definitely. Our customers expect this and welcome the fact that we are adopting a sustainable approach. We combine sportiness with sustainability. Our success in the global markets proves us right.
The 911 is your icon. The car is to be hybridized. When will that happen?
Blume: The 911 is part of our sustainability strategy. The important thing is that when we think about hybridization for this vehicle, it’s not in the sense of a plug-in. It’s more about features from motorsport, in other words a very sporty hybridization with high recuperation performance. Like the 919 Hybrid, with which we won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in a row.
When will there be such a car?
Blume: I won’t tell you a year. We’ll be more specific when the car is actually ready. But you can look forward to it now.
How will you continue to develop the entire model range over the next few years?
Blume: We have set up our product strategy flexibly. In each of our segments, we have a wide range of powertrains – internal combustion engines, hybrids and electric vehicles. Next year, for example, the new all-electric Macan will be added as an attractive component. I don’t want to reveal any more than that today.