Most popular Porsche is going electric
Porsche is upping its bet on electric vehicles.
The German luxury carmaker said Tuesday that it will release an electric version of the Macan SUV, its most popular model, in the next few years.
Production of the “fully electric” Macan is set to start “early in the next decade,” Porsche said in a statement. It will be manufactured at the company’s existing plant for the Macan in Leipzig, Germany.
The company declined to say whether it would continue selling a gasoline-powered version of the SUV.
The shift to electric vehicles is gathering pace in the luxury car industry as major manufacturers pour resources into new technologies.
More than one in three of the 260,000 vehicles Porsche delivered last year was a Macan, a model that was first launched in 2011.
The company is planning to invest about €6 billion ($6.8 billion) in developing electric cars over the next three years. Porsche wants half of all its new vehicles to be either hybrids or fully electric by 2025.
“Our aim is to take a pioneering role in technology, and for this reason we will continue to consistently align the company with the mobility of the future,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said in a statement.
Last year, Porsche unveiled the Taycan, its first fully electric car. It is set to go on sale at the end of this year.
The company didn’t mention a likely price for the electric Macan. The most basic version of the current model starts at just under $60,000.
Many of Europe’s top automakers are embarking on an electric vehicle offensive.
Porsche’s parent group, Volkswagen, said late last year that it would invest €44 billion ($50 billion) by 2023 in the development of electric cars, self-driving vehicles and other new technologies.
A big chunk of that amount will be invested in building vehicles in China, which is already the world’s largest market for electric cars.
But less than 1% of the cars Volkswagen sells worldwide each year are fully electrified or hybrids, underscoring the huge challenges in convincing drivers to make the switch.
The emphasis on electric models has become particularly marked in the high-end auto market where Tesla has set the benchmarks.
Jaguar released its all-electric luxury SUV, the I-Pace, last year. Audi and Mercedes-Benz both have electric SUVs in the works.