Porsche has been making plug-in hybrids for a while now, but it has been resisting going fully electric for a long time.
We have seen a shift from this since the development of the Mission E and they even said that they plan for 50% of their production to be electric within 6 years – one of the most aggressive electrification goals among legacy automakers.
Now, CEO Oliver Blume even says that he expects the German automaker to only sell electric vehicles starting in 2030, which would mean that they would transition the other 50% of their production over about 7 more years.
In a new official interview released by the company today, Blume was asked “when will we see the last Porsche with a combustion engine?” and he responded:
I would venture to predict that, by 2030, the sportiest Porsche will have an electric drive. Who knows – maybe by then even our iconic sports car, the 911, will be electric.
The company has previously said that the 911 is going to be the hardest vehicle to transition to electric drive – especially for the hardcore Porsche fans.
The CEO expects that in the meantime, the company will still focus on plug-in hybrids on top of a few all-electric vehicles based on the Mission E, which is expected late next year.
Blume admits that the move is driven by stricter emission standards coming in Europe over the next decade. Here was his response when asked why the transition couldn’t happen sooner:
There are technical and structural reasons for it, but also purely economic ones. To begin with, the everyday usability of electric cars needs to continue to improve – particularly in terms of range and charging time. There is also quite a bit to be done when it comes to infrastructure. The pan-European high-power charging network IONITY by Porsche, Audi, BMW, Daimler and Ford is now charting a course towards the establishment of the most powerful fast-charging network for electric vehicles in Europe. But even this can only be one part of a larger solution. The second reason for the delay is connected to doubts regarding whether the current electricity mix is really better for the climate than combustion engines. Thirdly, people often fail to realise the Herculean task faced by our industry, which is, after all, the backbone of our economy and our welfare state.
In his last comment, he is referring to some concerns that electric vehicles require fewer workers at auto factories, which is a big part of the German economy.
I am glad that a high-profile automaker is actually publicly coming out and acknowledging the possible end of the internal combustion engine in favor of electric vehicles, especially since a majority of auto executives still think battery electric cars will fail based on recent surveys.
With this said, I think they will have to update their timeline over the next few years.
As I have often discussed on Electrek, I think that at some point between 2020 and 2025, there will be so many great EVs on the market that no one in their right mind will want to buy anything other than an all-electric vehicle.
Maybe the production capacity will not be there yet for everyone to have access to one, but it will still force all the legacy automakers to change their plans and move to all-electric vehicles more quickly.
Depending on how quickly that happens, Blume might not be too far off with his 2030 prediction.
But I have some issues with what he said about why it can’t happen sooner, especially his reference to “doubts” about the sources of electricity “really being better for the climate” than combustion engines.
There’s no scientific doubt at this point and only propaganda doubts based on comments like that. Studies have shown it and even for the places where there’s not a great difference, the grid is rapidly becoming cleaner driven by lower costs of solar and wind power.
Therefore, we might as well have the electric vehicles to take advantage of this increasingly cleaner grid instead of waiting for some miracle that would make gas and diesel-powered engines cleaner in the future.