Mission E 1

My skin crawls every time the press calls the Porsche Mission E a “Tesla Killer”, which is often. Of course, it could simply be attributed to “clickbaiting” since they rarely if ever base the statement on facts, but the notion is especially ridiculous because if anything, the Mission E actually validates Tesla’s lead.

Porsche recently green-lighted the all-electric 4-door sedan for production with a $700 million investment to expand and to add electric motors manufacturing to its capacity. The company aims to bring the car to market by the “end of the decade”. Tesla launched the Model S in 2012, making the Mission E about 8 years late for its mission to “kill” the Tesla Model S.

Now what is Porsche bringing to the market 8 years late?

I will not compare the designs, both vehicles are luxury 4-door sedans, that’s good enough. I’ll focus on the electric drivetrain.

The company says it is aiming for the Mission E to have “over 310 miles of range” (500 km) on a single charge. Being based in Germany, Porsche is likely basing the estimate on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is much more forgiving than the EPA rating. The Tesla Model S 85D has a range of 328 NEDC-rated miles (528 km).

Automakers have yet to bring to production a battery pack anything close to Tesla’s 85 kWh pack, which it brought to market in 2012, and Porsche says it is aiming for a pack of similar size by the end of the decade.

As for performance, Porsche didn’t reveal much information, but the company confirmed aiming for 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. This is a really good time, but still behind the performance versions of the Model S, which can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds to 2.8 seconds depending on the package.

The only point on which the Mission E seems to compete with the Model S is on fast-charging. Again, the company didn’t reveal much information about its fast-charging capacity, but it claims the Mission E will be able to charge up to 80% in about 15 minutes. Depending on the Supercharger and the Model S battery pack, Tesla can charge to 80% in about 30 minutes.

It would truly be impressive if Porsche really delivers on this feature, but at the same time, we have to keep in mind that Tesla has been improving on the Supercharger infrastructure since its launch in 2012 and there’s no telling what it will be able to do by the end of decade when Porsche will have the Mission E. Also, having the technology is one thing, but the company will also have to develop the network of chargers.

Tesla will be hard to catch with a lead of 576 Supercharger stations with 3,321 Supercharger stalls around the world.

Even if Porsche delivers perfectly on everything it claims, which is not often the case with concept vehicles, it would still be about 6 to 8 years late to be anything close to a “Tesla Killer”. I welcome Porsche entry in the all-electric vehicle field, but lets put the “Tesla killer” thing to rest.


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Fred Lambert

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