Porsche, the iconic performance nameplate diving ever deeper into luxury and electrification, once again finds itself incapable of withholding its excitement toward both. Company board member Detlev von Platen claims Porsche is seriously considering increasing the production capacity of its upcoming Mission E model beyond 20,000 annual units and electrifying the Macan crossover.
According to von Platen, initial customer inquiries into the Mission E has been so strong that the brand wants to make sure it can meet demand. Buying habits also give the automaker hope that its customer base is prepared to make the eventual switch from internal combustion to electrically-assisted engines.
“In Europe, around 60 percent of Panamera vehicles were delivered with a hybrid drivetrain,” von Platen said.
That leaves the base model Panamara and performance Turbo variant with the remaining 40 percent. By contrast, hybrid powertrains (both conventional and plug-in) accounted for 2.7 percent of the total U.S. automotive market in 2016, down from a 3.2-percent high in 2013. Granted, premium automakers have an easier time pushing electrification than their mainstream counterparts, but it remains a niche category. It could be argued that the Panamara’s success isn’t heavily dependent upon its status as an electric vehicle. It may just be that it’s the mid-tier trim and likely to be the most desirable option for more affluent clientele.
That said, Porsche is steadfast in its belief that customers won’t abandon their electro-chic mindset anytime soon. The company plans to double its investment in hybrid and fully electric vehicles to more than 6 billion euros ($7.35 billion) by 2022. It’s also currently involved in a joint venture with Audi, BMW Group, Daimler AG, and Ford to improve Europe’s EV charging network. The group wants to construct and operate 400 powerful rapid charging stations along the major European traffic routes by 2020.
Meanwhile, the Mission E should enter into production sometime next year — possibly in overdrive.
[Source: Reuters] [Image: Porsche]
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