Porsche sets sights on Tesla, will invest $7.4 billion in EV development

After years of seeing Tesla establishing its place on top the electric car food chain, Porsche has finally decided to go all-in on the EV segment, announcing a massive investment of $7.4 billion in its green car initiatives on Monday. The funds will be used to develop electric cars, hybridize its current vehicle lineup, and create a response to Tesla’s unfair advantage — the Supercharger network.

In an announcement on its official website, Porsche AG Chairman of the Executive Board Oliver Blume asserted that the company’s aggressive timeline in its green car initiatives is a strategic decision. According to the executive, the $7.45 billion funding is simply Porsche’s way of ensuring its place in the automotive industry for the foreseeable future.

“We are doubling our expenditure on electromobility from around 3 billion euro ($3.72 billion) to more than 6 billion euro ($7.45 billion). Alongside development of our models with combustion engines, we are setting an important course for the future with this decision,” Blume said.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Porsche’s new announcement is a massive $868 million investment in the development of an ultra-fast charging network for its electric vehicles like the Mission E. Over the years, Tesla’s Supercharger network has proven to be one of the California-based electric car maker’s biggest strengths. For now, Tesla holds the status quo when it comes to having a comparable, dedicated charging infrastructure for its vehicles. This, however, is set to be challenged by Porsche’s Ionity network.

The Ionity network is being developed by Porsche and Audi in a joint venture with the BMW Group, the Ford Motor Company, and Daimler AG. Initial plans for the charging network involve the installation of 400 powerful rapid-charging stations across major European traffic routes by 2020. Work on Ionity is already underway, with the construction of the first rapid-charging stations commencing in 2017.

One of the biggest questions among electric car enthusiasts with regards to the Mission E, Porsche’s response to the Tesla Model S, is how the German firm can back up its claim of charging the car with 248 miles worth of charge in just 15 minutes. With Ionity’s reported standard output of 350 kW, Porsche’s claim of charging the Mission E with 248 miles worth of range in just 15 minutes is quite feasible. In comparison, Tesla’s Superchargers have a standard output of about 120 kW.

Also part of Porsche’s latest push into the green car revolution is an additional $620 million for the refinement and further development of the Mission E, the company’s first fully electric car designed for everyday drivers. Apart from this, $1.2 billion will also be spent on the electrification and hybridization of Porsche’s current vehicle lineup. An additional $868 million will be allotted towards the expansion of the company’s facilities.

Porsche sets sights on Tesla, will invest $7.4 billion in EV development
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