LONDON (Reuters) – Hear ye, petrol heads and Porsche fans! The high-end German car maker, Porsche (ETR:P911_p), has a bold plan up its sleeve. They’re going full throttle on the electric revolution, aiming to see battery-operated beauties make up a whopping 80% of their sales by 2030. Now, hold your horses! There’s one exception to this electric escapade—the legendary Porsche 911, they say, will be the last bastion of the combustion engines, according to a top company executive.
The world has been on tenterhooks watching Porsche’s electrification strategy, especially eco-warriors who’ve applauded their e-fuels investment and rallying cry for the EU to green-light sales of such cars beyond 2035. Porsche, famed for its affiliation with e-fuels courtesy of a financial tie-up with Chile’s HIF Global, had never before let slip the plan to keep only one gas-guzzler alive.
First to receive the electric makeover will be Porsche’s compact SUV, the Macan, then the baton will be passed on to the sporty 718, followed by the top-seller, the Cayenne. That’s according to Karl Dums, Porsche’s lead e-fuels maestro. The iconic 911, responsible for 13% of their sales in 2022, gets a reprieve.
“We’re all in on electric, but the 911… she’ll have a combustion heart beating under her bonnet as long as we can keep it there,” Dums declared. He was quick to stress, however, that their e-fuels investments and EV plans are on separate tracks.
In case you’re scratching your head over e-fuels, here’s the lowdown: it’s made from captured carbon dioxide and hydrogen produced using renewable energy. When it goes up in smoke, it spews out CO2, but hey, since that CO2 was captured in the first place, it’s seen as carbon-neutral.
Though HIF Global’s e-fuels are primarily targeted at the aviation sector and heavy-duty vehicles, since the passenger car scene is swiftly going electric, Dums chimed in.
Automotive pundits and business buffs reckon that e-fuels will find their place in niche, top-of-the-line models. Major auto manufacturers will likely give e-fuel models a wide berth after 2035, given they’ve already plunked down a staggering $1.2 trillion into the electric pot. On the flip side, e-fuel startups, mostly eyeing aviation fuel, have barely roped in $1 billion in investment, as per Pitchbook’s figures.
Porsche isn’t alone in its EU e-fuels exemption crusade. Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) has been singing the same tune, although they’ve also disclosed that 80% of their lineup will be electrified or hybrid by 2030.
A number of smaller luxury carmakers, too, are itching to woo the well-heeled clientele with high-performance e-fuel models, despite the hefty price tag of the fuel, which can set you back as much as 10 quid ($12.90) per liter.
Let’s take Morgan Motor Co, for example. They handcraft four-wheel beauties in Malvern, England, which sell for over $100,000 a pop. Their retro design hasn’t changed much since WWII.
Morgan, currently owned by European private equity firm Investindustrial, churned out roughly 600 cars last year and is ready to break into the U.S. market, according to CEO Massimo Fumarola. Although they’re poised to roll out an electric model this decade, Fumarola believes that a significant slice of their clientele will still crave for e-fuel-powered internal combustion models beyond 2035.
Then there’s Liverpool-based Briggs Automotive Company (BAC), known for crafting bespoke, single-seater race cars that could burn a hole of over 350,000 pounds in your pocket. Even though they only make a couple of cars per month, they’re keen on tapping into new markets, including Germany. BAC’s customers, Chairman Mike Flewitt says, haven’t shown any appetite for EVs, at least not yet.
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