Take One: The Ruf 911 Greenster EV. From AB Green’s report:
Last fall, Porsche high performance tuning specialist Ruf announced that it had built a prototype electric sports car called the eRuf which was essentially a lithium ion battery-powered 911. That was just the beginning of the story as the company has brought the Greenster here to Geneva. The Greenster is a targa top 911 in the old style with a chopped speedster type windshield. In the back sits a 270 kW Siemens electric motor with 695 lb-ft of torque. The battery pack system has been improved and is now 30 percent smaller in volume, restoring the front trunk space that was lost on the original. The battery pack now has greater power capacity allowing it to release and absorb power faster, enabling more regenerative braking capacity. The battery can apparently be charged in only one hour from a 400V outlet. The next iteration will switch to a twin motor setup and the company is planning a small series production run in 2010.
Porsche 911 have been a favorite target for EV conversions fir decades. Ruf’s version is almost series ready. It will probably have an EPA mpge rating similar to the Tesla’s 256 mpge. How many would Porsche have to sell to increase its fleet average to the amount necessary?
Take 2: The Audi e-tron
Audi plans to build at least 100 e-trons in 2012. After that, expanded series production will commence. This verifies that Audi, and by association Porsche, has the technical and production capabilities to build sufficient e-tron technology 911s by 2016 to average out Porsche’s fleet CAFE.
Take 3: The Mercedes SLS AMG EV
Mercedes has confirmed production of the SLS AMG electric. Zero to 100 km/h in around 4 seconds – putting it on the same high level as the SLS AMG with a 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 420 kW/571 hp. The Germans have embraced electric vehicle technology, and are using their high performance cars as their first production versions. Think Porsche will be the only one without one?
Take 4: BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept
Melding the performance of an M3 with exceptionally low fuel consumption, BMW claims a 0-62 mph time of 4.8 seconds while scoring 62.6 mpg (U.S.) on the EU combined test cycle. The power and performance are made possible by combining a fuel-efficient 3-cylinder turbodiesel with one electric motor on each axle. The intelligent combination of these units, together with precisely controlled energy management, simultaneously enhances the dynamic performance and the efficiency of the car. Overall system output is 356 horsepower, and peak torque is 590 lb-ft. The special arrangement of the two motors and diesel engine allows all-wheel drive when driving in all-electric mode. The result is minimum power loss and a harmonious transmission of the power available under all conditions.
Summary: All the major German premium brands are developing advanced electric and plug-in hybrids, and specifically are targeting their top line performance vehicles as the launching pad for production versions. It’s hard to imagine Porsche being left behind. Through weight reduction, engine downsizing and a standard mild hybrid system, current EPA numbers could readily be raise some 30% or more. The balance can be achieved through averaging out its fleet mix with EVs or plug-in hybrids.