Porsche electric and fuel-cell cars on the way?

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
Instead of a purring flat-six or a rumbling V8, what if your next Porsche had a hydrogen fuel-cell stack under the hood?

There’s been plenty of chatter lately about Porsche pursuing both battery-electric and hydrogen cars, and while the company has denied that it’s working on any of this, a recent patent filing seems to indicate otherwise.

Porsche filed a series of patent applications for battery and fuel-cell powertrains in the U.S., China, and Germany, reports Autocar. These are understood to be for Porsche’s BMW 5 Series-Fighting sedan, the “Pajun” (short for “Panamera Junior”), which doesn’t have a clear arrival date yet.

The patents show a new platform specific to these models, adapted from the MSB platform that will underpin the Pajun and various future Volkswagen Group models.

Carrying over certain aspects of the MSB platform will save money, but Porsche will still apparently modify it significantly to make installing zero-emission powertrains easier.

The battery and hydrogen versions will reportedly both use rear-mounted electric motors, one for each wheel. One version will get a battery pack mounted in the middle of the car as part of the structure, while the other will get a fuel-cell stack mounted in front, using space ordinarily taken up by the engine.

Filing for patents doesn’t automatically mean certain technologies will go into production, but if such cars do get built, the battery and hydrogen Pajun variants would probably appear sometime after the gasoline models. And the fuel-cell version would probably be built in much more limited numbers than any other variant.

While Porsche hasn’t confirmed plans to depart completely from internal combustion, this isn’t the first hint it’s given regarding zero-emission powertrains.

In a March presentation on VW Group product plans by technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg, a chart showing future battery and fuel-cell models included slots for one of each from Porsche.

Even before that, there was speculation of an all-electric version of the Pajun, as well as a related model dubbed the 717. Such a car makes sense for Porsche not only as a way to raise efficiency, but also to directly compete against the Tesla Model S.

And with the hydrogen-car market still in its infancy, Porsche could potentially lay claim to the first truly sporty fuel-cell production car.

That would be quite the technical coup, although Porsche might want to synthesize some flat-six or V8 noises, for old time’s sake.


Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Volkswagen is planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring for a lap-record attempt. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car with the I.D. R.
Emerging Tech

Water-based fuel cell converts carbon emissions to electricity

Scientists from Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have developed a system which can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen by dissolving carbon dioxide in an aqueous solution.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!