Porsche issued its big annual report today, revealing that it had an operating profit of €4.2 billion, or about $5 billion, down from last year but not by much. The bigger news, though, was about its wider plans for electrification and the electrification of its most iconic car.
I will cut right to the chase, in that Porsche is swearing off the idea of the 911 ever being an all-electric car, or at least Porsche says that won’t happen anytime in the short- or mid-term future.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said the 911 will be the “last Porsche which is going for full electrification,” if it ever fully becomes an EV.
“The 911 is our icon. We will continue to build the 911 with a combustion engine,” he told reporters during a media call ahead of its annual meeting Friday morning. “The concept of the 911 doesn’t allow a fully electric car because we have the engine in the rear. To put the weight of the battery in the rear, you wouldn’t be able to drive the car.”
I cannot tell if Blume is joking when he says that because 911 is rear-engined and that is where the batteries must go as well. If he is not joking it makes me sad that Blume’s imagination for the 911 is so limited. Even Chevy had the knew that the engine layout on its most iconic car was not sacred. And, besides, if Porsche actually made an all-electric 911 it would probably just be a skateboard like almost every other EV. A rear-mounted motor with batteries ahead in the floor would be more than traditional enough, anyway.
The all-electric 911 came up in the context of Porsche talking about all of its electrification plans for the next decade. Here’s how Porsche sees that going:
In 2020, a third of all Porsche vehicles delivered in Europe were fully or partially electric; worldwide it was 17 per cent. In 2025, half of all new Porsche vehicles sold will have an electric motor; in 2030, more than 80 per cent of the new vehicles will be electric.
Eighty percent is ambitious, and the astute will recognize that includes hybrids in addition to all-electric cars. It was not that long ago that a Toyota Prius was the punchline to a bad joke, though, and now Porsche — which has as rich a racing history as any — is now casually just being like, “Yeah, the vast majority of our cars will be hybrids or fully electric, and pretty soon.”
There is the Porsche Taycan, of course, that is already here, in addition to the recently-announced Taycan Cross Turismo. Maybe coming up next is an electric Macan, and probably more Cayenne and Panamera hybrids, and reportedly all-electric 718s and Caymans, too.
Porsche will soon be a very different kind of car company, in other words, and relatively soon in terms of automaker history. I remain a little stumped why it seems hung up, for now, on not going all-in on electric with the 911. Even Ford knew that it could make an all-electric version of its most iconic car and everything turned out ... just fine.