We might be more than a year away from seeing the production version of Porsche Mission E, but the German car manufacturer has started to reveal more details about its first fully electric vehicle and its required infrastructure.
In an interview published on Porsche’s website earlier this week, the company’s Head of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), Stefan Weckbach, said that the Mission E has «infected» the whole organisation with enthusiasm and got the company all «working towards a single goal».
He discussed how creating an adequate infrastructure is one of the company’s main priorities and that in Europe, the Volkswagen Group (which owns Porsche), along with other manufacturers, has formed a consortium to build fast charging points across the continent. In the US, on the other hand, the Volkswagen Group is on its own and plans to install fast-charging stations at all of its 189 Porsche dealerships.
The Mission E boasts 800V technology, which enables it to be charged to 80% in around twenty minutes, adding a further 400km range. The problem is, most existing charging points are incapable of providing the required 350kW to charge at these high speeds, meaning Porsche needs to build its own charging stations.
It’s not clear whether or not the Mission E will be sold in a package that includes flat-rate charging. «We need to do more research into what our customers really want, and we’re currently investigating various options and packages. There might be market demand for flat-rate charging from customers who are heading off on holiday, for example,» said Weckbach.
In his interview, the Head of BEV also explained how the Mission E will be just as practical as many of its petrol-powered predecessors. For example, despite packing in the electric motor, cooling system and other components under the bonnet, there’s still 100 litres of storage for luggage.
He also revealed how much fun it is.
«It’s a fantastic drive – and I should know, because recently I had the opportunity to drive the first few laps in the prototype with our developers at the Idiada test track, he said. «Our vehicle is a four-door sport saloon that can carry up to five people, with a very low centre of gravity thanks to the underfloor battery and all possible refinements to the chassis. Driving performance combined with driving pleasure – everyone is in for quite a surprise…with Mission E, we will offer a fully electric Porsche which is a perfect fit for our brand, finds approval with our customers and rightfully bears the name «Porsche».»
In October, a new video emerged of the Porsche Mission E being put through its paces at the Nürburgring. In the 40-something second clip uploaded by France’s L’Automobile Magazine, you can see the Mission E driving at pace, but there appear to be openings for exhausts, suggestings its either disguised as a regular car or running work-in-progress bodywork.
Video of La future Porsche Mission E sur le Nürburgring
Keep reading to find out everything else we know about the Porsche Mission E.
Porsche Mission E: All you need to know
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Boasting 600hp (440kW) of all-electric power, the Mission E concept is capable of 0-100km/h in a mind-bending 3.5 seconds. Equally impressive is the Mission E’s range – Porsche quotes an impressive 500km on a full charge, and a huge 400km range after just 15 minutes of charging. While it’s unlikely that the Mission E concept’s spaceship-like stats will make it to the road-going version, the fact it’s being made at all is a huge step for EVs and the perception of them.
How does it work?
The Mission E’s 500km range soundly beats the 430km offered by the longest-range Tesla, and it’s mainly due to the manufacturer’s 800V technology.
Unlike current electric vehicles (EVs), which run on 400V, the Mission E runs on double that – and it gives it a number of advantages. Although more robust and complex engineering is required, the new technology will allow Porsche to make a car that’s faster, lighter and even quicker to charge.
The company’s “Turbo Charging” system offers a quick charge mode like many mobile phones, giving the Mission E juice for 400km – with a single 15-minute charge.
Interestingly, Porsche says the Mission E could also be charged “at home in the garage via convenient inductive charging by simply parking over a coil embedded in the floor of the garage from which the energy is transferred without cables”. Although not specifically named, it’s likely that the Mission E, therefore, uses Qualcomm’s wireless charging Halo technology, first seen on the Formula E safety car.
The Mission E wouldn’t be a Porsche without extreme performance, but it’s even faster than you’d expect. Using two permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM) like those users in the current Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans car, the Porsche is able to achieve 0-100km/h in under 3.5 seconds, and 0-200km/h in just over 12.
The Mission E’s interior is just as interesting. In addition to gesture control, the Porsche also uses interior cameras to track the driver’s eyes and change the displays accordingly. Porsche says the instruments will move according to the position of the driver, creating a parallax effect similar to that first introduced in iOS 7.
How much will it cost?
When Porsche first unveiled the Mission E, it looked like high-end supercar with the price to match – but apparently, it won’t be as expensive as we thought. At the Frankfurt motor show, Porsche boss Oliver Blume told Car Magazine that the new Porsche Mission E will cost the same price as an “entry-level Panamera.” And that means it should retail for around £70,000.
That’s way cheaper than the £100,000 plus price tag I was expecting Porsche’s first all-electric supercar to have, it’s incredibly close to the £56,000 starting price of a Tesla Model S – and it’s also way less than the £90k price tag of a Model S P100D, too.
What’s more, Blume told Car Magazine that the production version of the Mission E will be «very close to what you saw two years ago at Frankfurt,» so it’s going to look great, too.
Two years ago, I said the Tesla would be getting some serious competition from the established manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes and VW – but I certainly didn’t class Porsche within that group. However, if it retails at its rumoured price, the Porsche Mission E is going to cause a serious headache for Tesla. As cool as Teslas are right now, would you pick one over a Porsche?
The future of EVs
The Mission E represents the first all-electric, four-seated Porsche of the 21st century, and shows just how seriously the German car maker is treating EVs. “With Mission E, we are making a clear statement about the future of the brand,” Dr Wolfgang Porsche, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG. “Even in a greatly changing motoring world, Porsche will maintain its front-row position with this fascinating sports car.»
“We are resolutely taking on the challenge of electric mobility,” added Chairman of the Porsche Executive Board, Dr Oliver Blum “Even with solely battery-powered sports cars, Porsche is remaining true to its philosophy and offering our customers the sportiest and technologically most sophisticated model in this market segment.»
The Mission E may look impressive, but it’s what lies underneath that makes it another landmark for EVs. After the announcement of Audi’s all-electric SUV, the Mission E demonstrates how electric cars can cater for different areas of the market – just like current cars do now.
By using an 800V system, the Mission E is able to combine performance with an increased range – two of the factors that currently dissuade many consumers from buying an EV. If 800V technology becomes the standard for electric cars – and there’s every chance it will – we could be about to see a new generation of EVs with longer ranges, quicker charge times and performance to match a traditional combustion engine.
A €1 billion project
Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen, had previously announced that the project will cost around €1 billion in total, and could also create around 1,000 jobs – but now that figure looks low. According to new reports, the Mission E project could require as much as 1,400 new hires at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen HQ, and that’s sure to raise the budget, too.