As parent company Volkswagen continues to reel from the ongoing “Dieselgate” scandal, Porsche announced that it will introduce a production version of the Mission E electric car concept that debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The timing for this announcement couldn’t be better, as the diesel scandal recently expanded to encompass Porsche’s own Cayenne Diesel, and VW faces investigations and lawsuits. An all-electric four-door sedan, the Mission E was unveiled just weeks before news of Volkswagen’s regulation-dodging “defeat device” software broke.
Porsche says it will introduce its first electric car at the end of the decade. It will invest 700 million euros (about $764 million) in the project, which it expects will create around 1,000 new jobs. Some of those will come from a new assembly plant and paint shop to be built for the electric car. Porsche will also expand its current engine plant to allow for production of electric motors.
Exactly how much of the Mission E concept will transition to production remains unclear. The concept boasts 600 horsepower, allowing for a 0 to 62 mph time of under 3.5 seconds. It also features a very powerful, 800-volt onboard charger that can recharge the battery pack to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes when plugged into a DC fast-charging station. Porsche also added wireless inductive charging, allowing the Mission E to be charged like a cell phone on a Power Mat.
While technically a four-door sedan, the Mission E is styled more like a sports car, and features four individual seats. Some of this may be altered in the name of practicality. Don’t expect wireless charging to be offered on the production version either, unless the technology becomes more refined over the next few years.
Over the past few years, Porsche has stuck adamantly to plug-in hybrids, claiming its customers won’t tolerate the compromises of short range and long charging times that come with all-electric cars. Yet rumors of an all-electric Porsche persisted, culminating in the Mission E. With the severe damage to Volkswagen’s environmental reputation, there’s some added urgency to Porsche’s decision to embrace the electric car.