The car company behind one of the most iconic automobile designs of all time is taking a big step forward into the future. Porsche announced this week that the company's first 100% electrically-powered vehicle is on its way, with a launch scheduled for the end of the decade.
Porsche's supervisory board gave the green light for the Mission E project, with the words of Dr. Oliver Blume, its chairman, explaining that the company is "beginning a new chapter in the history of the sports car."
The company will be investing around 700 million euros ($762 million) in its main manufacturing site. Over the next few years, a new paint shop and a new assembly plant will be built.
The existing engine factory is also being expanded for the production of electric motors, and the existing body shop is also being enlarged. On top of those improvements, Porsche will be investing in the Weissach development center.
The Mission E concept car celebrated its premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in September, featuring the company's signature streamlined design and other styling cues.
In concept form, the four-door car with four individual seats has a system power output of over 600 horsepower, or 440 kW, which means the vehicle is expected to achieve both acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in under 3.5 seconds with a planned maximum range of more than 310 miles.
When charged using an 800-volt charger unit, which is planned to be specially developed for the car, the lithium-ion batteries integrated within the vehicle floor could be recharged to the 80% level after just 15 minutes.
[Read why Porsche is picking Apple's CarPlay for its vehicles.]
Plans are under way for optional equipment that would allow the vehicle to be "refueled" wirelessly by induction through a coil, which the owner could have installed beneath the garage floor.
"We brought Mission E to Zuffenhausen and Weissach where the future has tradition. The workers' side made the employer's side an offer that they couldn't refuse. This heralds the dawn of a new age in Zuffenhausen and Weissach," Uwe Hück, chairman of the central works council and deputy chairman of the Porsche AG supervisory board, said in a Dec. 4 statement. "Digitalization will be growing up with us. And Factory 4.0 will be a major challenge for the workforce, trade union and employer. We will be taking new approaches but not giving up on the social aspects. With today's decision, Porsche is driving flat out with no speed restrictions into the automotive and industrial future."
Porsche joins a growing list of automakers developing all electric vehicles, including other luxury brands such as BMW, and Tesla, which just took the wraps off its Model X SUV, which offers advanced safety features, Falcon Wing doors, and boasts seating for up to seven passengers.
Technology companies are also looking to enter the electric vehicle market. Right now, Apple's Project Titan, the company's alleged codename for its electric car, is being closely scrutinized.
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