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Porsche says it has collected more than 20K deposits for its Taycan electric car

Porsche Mission E concept

Porsche claims that customers are seriously interested in its first mass-produced electric car, the Taycan. The automaker claims that more than 20,000 people around the world have put down four-figure deposits for the car, which doesn’t go on sale until the end of the year. That’s not anywhere close to what the Tesla Model 3 initially attracted, but the Taycan (pronounced “tie-con”) will have a higher starting price, and the volume of deposits has already required Porsche to increase first-year production.

Taycan buyers are being asked to put down deposits with Porsche dealers (the company itself does not collect any money) to reserve a car. CNET notes that the deposit amount in Europe is 2,500 euros (about $2,800). The amount of the deposit could be different in other markets, but it nonetheless shows that customers are willing to open their wallets without having seen the finished car.

Porsche originally planned to build 20,000 Taycans in the first year of production. But in January, the automaker told CNBC that it would double production to meet demand. The electric car will be built in the same German factory that makes Porsche’s bread-and-butter 911 sports car, as well as the 718 Boxster/Cayman twins. The factory is getting an upgrade to handle Taycan production.

Porsche has been teasing the Taycan since the debut of the Mission E concept (pictured above) in 2015, but the car should be worth the wait. The Taycan will have up to 600 horsepower, and will do zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, according to Porsche. The automaker also forecasts around 300 miles of range. The Taycan will feature a 350-kilowatt, 800-volt fast-charging system that can provide an 80-percent charge in under 20 minutes.

That sounds pretty good, but it hinges on Porsche’s ability to ensure that enough high-powered charging stations are built to meet demand, similar to Tesla’s buildup of its Supercharger network. In the United States, Porsche is working with Electrify America on charging infrastructure. That’s the organization created to spend Porsche parent Volkswagen’s diesel-emissions penalties on promoting zero-emission vehicles. Porsche will even give Taycan customers three years of free unlimited charging at Electrify America stations.

The Taycan’s price will fall between  those of the Cayenne and the Panamera, Porsche has said. That means a starting price of around $75,000, putting the Taycan in the same price range as the Tesla Model S, as well as the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace SUVs. The Taycan will be the only electric sedan from a traditional luxury automaker, at least until Audi’s e-tron GT arrives.

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