Porsche halts new vehicle sales in Europe to adjust to new emissions standards

Porsche has temporarily suspended the sale of new vehicles in Europe, due to the company’s current offerings not meeting the region’s new emissions standards. Buyers using Porsche’s online vehicle configurator for Europe were prompted with a message informing visitors that due to a “pending model revision,” vehicles under the company’s lineup are not available as freely configurable cars.

The reason behind the surprising halt to Porsche’s sales lies in Europe’s new Euro 6 emissions regulations, which are scheduled to be fully enforced come September. The new standards, consisting of the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and Real Driving Emissions (RDE), were imposed by the EU last September, according to a report from German news agency Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

After the announcement of the new standards last September, regulators allowed manufacturers such as Porsche to sell cars that were certified with the 1997-era New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) for another year. These are the vehicles that Porsche is currently rushing to deliver before the September deadline. Porsche vehicles that are fully compliant with the new emissions standards, such as the Cayenne and the Panamera, are expected to be unavailable until around March 2019.

It’s not just Porsche that has been hit with Europe’s new emissions standards. According to the German publication, legacy automakers BMW and Volkswagen have also halted the sale of some of their offerings. BMW, for one, has stopped the sale of the BMW 7-Series, BMW X5, and the BMW M3. While Porsche has halted the sale of new vehicles in Europe, however, the company continues to allow buyers in North America and Asia to order and configure new cars.

Porsche has arguably begun an earnest embrace of electric car technology. Its highly anticipated Mission E sedan — a vehicle seen as a potential rival to the best-selling Tesla Model S — is expected to hit the market sometime next year. The Mission E has Tesla Model S-rivaling specs, including a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds, a range of 310 miles, and a maximum speed of 155 mph.

Just recently, a prototype of the Mission E sedan was taken around the track by former Formula One driver Mark Webber. During his brief test drive of the electric car, Webber noted that the Mission E had noticeable similarities to the Porsche 919 Hybrid, a hybrid sports-prototype racing car that he drove to compete in endurance races such as the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo.

Porsche is not just developing one electric car, however. Earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, the German legacy automaker also unveiled the Mission E  Cross Turismo, a more rugged variant of its four-door sedan. During its unveiling, Porsche noted that the Mission E Cross Turismo would hit the market early next decade. 

The German automaker is also laying the foundations of a charging network for its electric cars. Dubbed the IONITY Network, Porsche’s ultra-fast chargers are designed to have an output of 350 kW, far beyond the ~140 kW max output of Tesla’s Superchargers. 

During Tesla’s Q1 2018 earnings call, however, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel noted that Porsche’s 350 kW electric car chargers would likely “frag” the battery and not be beneficial to drivers. Thus, according to Musk, Tesla’s Supercharger V3 network would feature an output of around 200-250 kW. 

Porsche halts new vehicle sales in Europe to adjust to new emissions standards
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