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Why Porsche Is Taking a Different Route with Electric Vehicles - and Why It's Working Eighty-nine years after Ferdinand Porsche first experimented with electric autos, his namesake company seems poised to take over the performance EV market.


In its 89-year history, Stuttgart-based automaker Porsche has built an admirable reputation for performance and excellence. For auto aficionados and casual appreciators of design alike, one mention of the name conjures images of an elegant yet powerful vehicle cornering picturesque roads. The recent launch of the company's first all-electric vehicle, the Taycan, represents a new chapter for Porsche, though one with roots that date back to its earliest days.

The very first vehicle designs by Founder Ferdinand Porsche featured electric power sources. He even built (and drove) some of those early electric designs, including the world's first hybrid car, dubbed the "Semper Vivus", meaning "always alive" in Latin. Though these designs were too advanced for the materials and technologies available at the time, now, some 120 years later, electric vehicles are taking off—and Porsche is once again at the forefront of what is possible.

Credit: Porsche

According to Allied Market Research, the global electric vehicle market will grow by over $640 billion in the next seven years. However, within that massive potential only a few players in the market are truly focused on the performance side of driving. None of those players bring the experience and expertise in both design and engineering that Porsche has honed over its storied history, especially in regard to leveraging innovations developed on the race track into production vehicles. And it's that same approach that is helping Porsche win in the electric vehicle market. The Taycan, first introduced in December 2019, is currently the brand's top-selling non-SUV in the U.S.

Credit: Porsche

"Porsche is approaching the EV market the same way we operate in motorsports: carefully and with a measured hand," says Calvin Kim, Product Spokesperson for the Taycan. The decision to build the Taycan with an 800-volt system rather than the market standard 400-volt was inspired by Porsche's multiple wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 800-volt system gives the Taycan a shorter charge time and reduces weight. "As there is no margin of error in motorsports, there is also only one chance to make a first impression. Therefore, we put our best foot forward with maximum dynamic performance, fastest charging capability, and the customization and driving performance that Porsche owners demand," adds Kim.

Credit: Porsche

Just as Porsche brings their track-earned racing heritage to the electric vehicle market in terms of driving experience, they're also offering a level of customization never before seen in the electric vehicle market. The Taycan lives up to Porsche's reputation for personalization with a wide range of interior and exterior options. "Our customers demand one thing: that it lives up to the Porsche badge," says Kim. "For us, that means it must be dynamic, inspiring, aspirational, and engineered and built to our typical high level."

While the Taycan has already made a major impact in the electric vehicle market, it's just the beginning of Porsche's electric future. By 2025, the company plans for more than half of its vehicles sold to include a plug — whether all-electric or a performance hybrid. "Electrification will now be a permanent fixture of our brand," says Kim. And the company is investing more than six billion euros in electromobility over the next two years, with over a billion already spent updating the Zuffenhausen production site in Stuttgart.

Credit: Porsche

For Porsche, the commitment to electric vehicles is part sustainability, part performance. "Porsche wants to ensure the longevity of the fascination of sports cars," says Kim. "To do that, we must bend the idea of what makes a sports car and keep it relevant, not only for the times, but for the enthusiasts." The company's inventive founder, the same one building those ahead-of-their-time electric vehicles 120 years ago, once said: "The last car that will be built will be a sports car."

Should that day come, there's a good chance that car will wear a Porsche badge.