More than half the cars produced by Porsche will be electric by 2025, the German manufacturer’s North American chief said Tuesday as he set out plans to overtake market leader Tesla.
“We are in the beginning of a transition phase in the car industry, and to Porsche, to switch over to better electric fully,” said Klaus Zellmer, president and chief executive officer of the luxury automaker’s North American division.
“Luxury consumers expect, with a brand’s purpose, for sustainability to play a major part.”
“By 2025 Porsche will have crossed a tipping point, actually building more than 50 percent of its annual volume … with either plug-in hybrid technology or fully battery,” he said.
However, he added, the “combustion engine of course is not dead,” pointing to Porsche’s popular 911 sports cars.
Zellmer discussed the next phase in high-end automobiles during a conversation with Bloomberg car columnist Hannah Elliott at the second annual The Year Ahead: Luxury summit.
The brand’s first 100 percent electric sports car, the Taycan is capable of going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds.
The luxury model is intended to rival Tesla, the California firm that dominates the global electric car market.
Tesla has an especially firm grip on the United States, which is Porsche’s second-largest market. The German brand sold 57,000 cars in the US last year.
From 2021 Porsche intends to sell a fully electric version of its SUV, the Macan, which would compete directly against Tesla’s Y model.
Porsche is also facing growing competition in China, its biggest single market, from Tesla. Tesla last month said its new so-called Gigafactory in Shanghai had started production on a trial basis.
Zellmer said the growth of electric cars in China was being impeded by the lack of access to charging facilities in mega-cities where tens of millions live and work in high rise buildings.
Not every advance in electric-vehicle technology takes place inside the sterile calm of a research laboratory.