Porsche Is Competing With Tesla Until They Say They're Not

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The Porsche Taycan is seen in some circles as a challenger to the Model S, even though it’s much more expensive and intended to be sporty, or at least sportier than even Tesla’s performance models. Porsche hasn’t done much to dispel this notion of a rivalry, cheekily thanking Elon Musk for free P.R. last September, but now it is insisting there is none.


Here is Porsche’s Research and Development chief Christiaan Hetzner in an interview this week in Automotive News:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has attempted to beat the Porsche Taycan electric sedan’s Nurburgring lap time record with the Model S. Is Tesla a rival?

Although people like to play us off against each other, we do not consider Tesla to be a direct rival. With the Model 3, it’s clear that they are more aggressively targeting the volume segment.

Surely Hetzner would not want to stoke such a rivalry that doesn’t exist anyway, that would be silly. No, surely the head of research and development would not go on to say in his very next answer why Porsche’s approach to electric, actually, is better than Tesla’s. No! There’s no rivalry here!

How far ahead is Tesla in terms of its battery technology?

Tesla employs round cells, a slightly different chemistry and another cooling concept, all of which have their specific advantages and disadvantages. In our opinion the kind of high battery capacities you might find installed in a Model S are not ideal in terms of sustainability. We believe in smaller, lighter and therefore less expensive batteries that can be recharged more quickly. It’s not our aspiration to be the leader in electric range.

So Porsche isn’t going for volume with electric, that would be crass, but Tesla is for sure, and, by the way, Porsche’s approach to batteries is smarter, and more sustainable, and not as dumb as simply trying to build a machine with the furthest range, like Tesla. There’s no rivalry here! Stop asking about it.



We believe in smaller, .... batteries that can be recharged more quickly

It doesn’t work that way. Larger battery capacity generally translates into a higher rate of charge.