Porsche CEO, Dr Oliver Blume, has revealed that the company will spend one billion Euros* (just under $1.1 million at today’s exchange rates) putting the Mission E concept into production by the end of this decade. The all-electric car will be built at Zuffenhausen, which is receiving the lion’s share – €700 million – of total investment.
“We are not just experimenting around to see what comes out of it,” says Blume. “We’re investing heavily in our future because we are convinced of doing the right thing at the right time. The next few years will see a new paint shop and a separate assembly plant in Zuffenhausen. The existing engine plant will be expanded for the production of electric drives. In addition, we will be extending the existing body shop. All together, more than 1000 jobs will be created there.”
Low Oil Prices vs Mission E Electric Vehicles
Newspaper headlines predicting the end of electric vehicles thanks to low oil prices continue to sound ridiculous to most straight thinking people, and Blume is on the same page. “You don’t have to be a clairvoyant to predict that the oil price will go up again. The current trend is deceptive.
“We don’t want to and can’t reverse the developments [already made] – we have no choice. Our innovations are the crucial factor. They are what it all depends on. Market leadership does not come from subsidies but from superior technology. Once we have it, everything comes automatically.”
Is Porsche really targeting market leadership in electric vehicles? If yes, could it ever get there? Porsche has no plans to dilute its brand by bringing small or medium electric cars to market but, by continuing to stretch its hybrid and pure electric expertise in premium product development and fitting that technology to the ultimate cars of the future, Porsche will pick up opportunities to licence derivations of its electric powertrains elsewhere, in much the same way as the company licenced patented transmission synchros for decades. No doubt Porsche electric drivetrain technology will also inform cheaper hybrid and full-electric powertrains used by other brands within the Volkswagen parent company.
How Much is a Billion?
*UK readers informed mainly by 1960s road test articles note that one billion is now accepted to equate to one thousand million and that the ‘British Billion’ – a million million – is now classed as one trillion. Denis Healey officially adopted the thousand-million billion for UK Treasury reporting in the 1970s (apparently).