Porsche has announced its intention to rival Tesla
The latest high-end automotive brand to jump on the electric car bandwagon, Porsche’s new offering could be a game-changer. Dubbed ‘Mission E’, the model was first launched at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in September 2016, leading Porsche to claim that the brand’s first fully electric vehicle will be available on the open market by 2020.
What sets Porsche’s new electric model apart from the countless others already available to purchase is that the ‘Mission E’ model will come in different variants, with varying power outputs—perfect for Porsche’s target audience, who in the main set a store by engine power and speed. Not content with making waves in terms of mechanics, Porsche has also attempted to reinvent the wheel so to speak, by completely reimagining the exterior as well as the interior mechanisms. With its not so affectionately named ‘suicide doors’, Porsche has made the executive decision that the model will feature doors that open outwards, removing the need for a central pillar between the doors.
The car will be fitted with two state-of-the-art motors (providing the equivalent of 600 horsepower). Ever the sports-car manufacturer, aerodynamics also play a part in the new ‘Mission E’ model, with the car’s advanced lithium-ion battery extending the full length of its underbody so that the weight is perfectly distributed to provide drivers with what Porsche calls “the all-wheel-drive”. Furthermore, intuitive technological advances have allowed Porsche chairman Oliver Blume to report that the vehicle will be capable of “over-the-air updates”, meaning that software updates can be synced to the car wirelessly. Other bespoke features include the omission of traditional exterior mirrors in favour of front and rear cameras, as well as built-in eye-tracking technologies in which a camera will detect where a driver is looking, and instinctively present the information on the dashboard most relevant to the driver at that time.
Whilst you can't argue against the comparative merits of Porsche’s electric offering, it has to be said that many consumers are put off electric cars because of the perceived hassle of recharging the battery. According to data gathered by the Office for National Statistics on behalf of the Department for Transport, a massive 45% of consumers are put off by the recharging element of owning an electric car, by far the highest response. The second-highest response in the survey was also related to the car’s battery life, with 39% saying they would be concerned about the distance you could travel on a battery fuelled by charging.
However, the German manufacturer has factored this into their considerations, pioneering a state-of-the-art charging technology that many consider above and beyond the charging facilities offered by other carmakers. Here, Porsche has created a bespoke charging base plate that drivers simply drive over when parking the car, thus triggering an automatic battery repower. And, aligning themselves more with traditional electric car manufacturers, Porsche also provides owners with a back-up charging option in the form of a cable that means the battery can be charged at home.
As to how powerful the charge on a battery-powered car can be, Porsche also silences the critics on this front—‘Mission E’ can be charged up to 80% in just 15 minutes and offer a range of 250 miles. Just as impressive is its powerful engine, which can reach a top speed of 150 miles per hour, and can go from 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds. This is just a fraction slower than one of Porsche’s top-selling models, with the Turbo S reaching the target speed an infinitesimal 0.7 seconds faster, at 2.8 seconds.
Porsche’s new ‘Mission E’ model certainly will create headlines when it is officially launched in 2020. However, until that time, it looks like Tesla and the like will continue dominating the electric car landscape as the automotive industry embraces the electric technology. Watch this space…