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Electric car battle: Porsche to build Tesla-fighter

2015-12-07 08:32

NEW EV FRONTIER: The new electric Porsche Mission E concept made its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show. Porsche says the car will go on sale by 2020. Image: AFP / Odd Andersen

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Four unsuspecting learner drivers prepare to take a driving test in France. Plot twist - instead of a budget test car they would drive a Porsche 911.

Berlin, Germany - Porsche said on Friday it was pumping in a billion euros to bring its first production electric car to market by "the end of the decade", as the German luxury sports car giant joined the race for a slice of the green-car market.

The car dubbed Mission E will boast an acceleration of 0 -100km/h in under 3.5 seconds and an autonomy of more than 500km on a single charge.

Special super-fast charger

A specially developed charger can replenish the car's lithium-ion batteries with sufficient power for 80% of the range after just 15 minutes, the company said.

said Wolfgang Porsche, supervisory board chairman, in a statement after the management approved the project: "With Mission E, we are making a clear statement about the future of the brand. Even in a greatly changing motoring world, Porsche will maintain its front-row position with this fascinating sports car."

1000 new jobs

Some €700-million of the investment would be spent on a new paint shop and an assembly plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, where 1000 news jobs would also be created.

Another €300-million are development costs, said the group.

Germany's mighty auto industry is racing to catch up with US green car star Tesla, which currently has no rival at the high end of the electric car segment.

Niche market

Electric cars are still very much a niche market, both in the United States and Europe, where they accounted for barely 1% of sales in the first six months of 2015.

But with double- and even triple-digit growth seen in some countries, German carmakers are looking at getting a slice of the market.

Besides Porsche, Audi is also building an electric urban 4x4 that could go into production in 2018 under the name Q6.

Despite a massive pollution cheating scandal engulfing Volkswagen, the parent company of both Porsche and Audi, the group has said it would not compromise on investments for its future.


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