The all-electric Porsche Taycan Turbo.
Source: Porsche AG
Luxury German automaker Porsche expects to significantly increase sales of all-electric vehicles in the coming years, but don’t expect an EV version of its iconic 911 sports car anytime soon, if ever.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said the 911 will be the “last Porsche which is going for full electrification,” if it ever fully becomes an EV. That’s despite the company announcing a new plan for at least 80% of its vehicles sold to be electrified by 2030.
“The 911 is our icon. We will continue to build the 911 with a combustion engine,” he told reporters during a media call ahead of its annual meeting Friday morning. “The concept of the 911 doesn’t allow a fully electric car because we have the engine in the rear. To put the weight of the battery in the rear, you wouldn’t be able to drive the car.”
Porsche reports 17% of its vehicles sold globally last year were electrified, including a third of its sales in Europe.
“Electrified” can mean an all-electric vehicle such as the Porsche Taycan or hybrid and plug-in hybrids that combine electrification with internal combustion engines, which Porsche also currently offers. A “major part” of Porsche’s vehicle sales are expected to be all-electric by 2030, according to Blume.
The “majority” of the 20% of its sales that won’t be electrified by 2030 will be the 911, he said. That doesn’t mean there aren’t changes in store for the car. He said the company is working on a “very sporty hybridization” of the car, citing lessons learned from a Porsche hybrid race car.
The company also is investing $24 million in “e-fuels,” which should assist in another new goal for Porsche to be carbon neutral by 2030. Porsche officials have said e-fuels are carbon neutral. They said they can act like gasoline, allowing owners of current and classic vehicles a more environmentally friendly way to drive.
“Porsche aims to have a carbon neutral balance throughout the entire value chain by 2030,” Blume said. “We are the first major car manufacturer and we want to be an automotive role model to commit to this goal.”
For perspective, General Motors recently said it plans to exclusively offer EVs by 2035 on the way to being carbon neutral by 2040, while smaller automakers such as Volvo have plans to be climate neutral by 2040, including only offering EVs by the end of this decade.
Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke during a separate media call said the automaker’s transition to electric vehicles will be profitable. That’s a change from EVs in recent years from other automakers, which have largely been sold at a loss to meet regulations.
Meschke said the Taycan is currently profitable and on a “very good path” to achieve double-digit margins. Porsche has a goal of improving its operating profit cumulatively by 10 billion euros ($11.9 billion) by 2025, and by 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) per year after that.
“We have to earn the same level of money with the EV products as we do … with our combustion engine models. That is a must,” Meschke said. “Otherwise, we cannot achieve the same profitability level as in the past. That is our goal.”
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Porsche set a revenue record last year of 28.7 billion euros ($34 billion), surpassing the previous year’s figure by more than 100 million euros ($119 million). Its operating profit was 4.2 billion euros ($5 billion), slightly lower than the previous year.
Porsche’s EV goals are in line and part of those of its parent company, Volkswagen. The German automaker earlier this week announced efforts to significantly increase mass adoption of electric vehicles, including building six battery cell factories in Europe by 2030. It plans for the company, which also includes brands like Audi and Volkswagen, to be carbon neutral by 2050.