March 19, 2022 auto

Porsche to start two-seat EV drive with 718 model

The first two-seat electric Porsche will be a 718, executives have confirmed.

Drivers can also expect a hybrid version of the Porsche 911, Oliver Blume, Porsche’s chief executive, said on Thursday. But he did not specify when production — which would use on-board rather than plug-in hybrid technology — would begin.

The 911, Porsche’s 58-year-old crown jewel, includes wide-ranging variants, from the entry-level $101,200 Carrera to high-performance Turbo S versions that cost more than $200,000.

This comes after Volkswagen said on February 22 that it's preparing an initial public offering of Porshe, its most profitable asset, to help fund production of additional electric vehicles.

Mr Blume and Porsche chief financial officer Lutz Meschke have refused to comment on the possible listing, which could value the company as high as €90 billion ($99.7bn), according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The IPO could happen in the second half of this year.

Porsche has hinted at an electric 718 Boxster/Cayman-style vehicle since it unveiled the Mission R at the Munich auto show last year, but this was the first time executives have confirmed speculation about a sporty new EV, which will be its third electric model. Porsche started delivering the Taycan electric sedan in 2020, and an all-electric Macan is expected by 2023.

By 2025, half of all new Porsches sold will be all-electric or plug-in hybrids, Mr Blume said. By 2030, 80 per cent of all Porsches will be fully electric, he said. In 2021, less than 40 per cent of all new Porsches delivered in Europe were plug-in hybrid or fully electric.

Sales of the Taycan, which starts at $82,700, have soared. Last year, the company delivered 41,296 globally, exceeding sales of the legendary 911, which reached a record 38,464 units.

All told, Porsche delivered 301,915 vehicles to customers in 2021, an 11 per cent jump from the 272,162 vehicles delivered in 2020 and the first time it has surpassed the 300,000 mark.

Deliveries increased in all global sales regions in 2021, led by China with more than 95,000 deliveries, up 7.5 per cent from 2020. Porsche also grew rapidly in the US, where sales rose 22 per cent to more than 70,000 units. In Germany, Porsche increased deliveries by 9.2 per cent to almost 29,000 units.

“We see that 2021 has made clear that we are weather-proof, even in stormy times,” Mr Blume said. “We have achieved strong results. This has put us in a first-class position for the future.”

Still, executives said US customers should expect significant delays across all Porsche’s product lines in the coming months because of unexpected obstacles.

In February, hundreds of Porsche cars were destroyed when a ship burned and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. The company has also struggled to source parts from multiple suppliers in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.


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