• Jul 26th 2010 at 12:58PM
  • 12
2010 Porsche Boxster – Click above for high-res image gallery

Porsche has been ramping up its vehicle electrification program, ranging from the plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder concept and the 911 GT3R Hybrid racer to the new Cayenne hybrid that recently went into production. The latest addition to the electric drive program is a trio of experimental Boxsters that are powered purely by electrons.

Porsche has yet to reveal any technical details about the three drop-top EVs, but they will be used to test the drivetrain systems as well as infrastructure needs. Porsche has indicated that it's interested in a production version of the 918 Spyder and is likely using these Boxsters to evaluate the battery systems, along with the motors and power electronics. Full details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Porsche]


Porsche Develops Research Cars with Electric Drive

Stuttgart. Electric drive will take on an increasingly important role in the further enhancement of Porsche Intelligent Performance. To combine greater efficiency with even lower fuel consumption and emissions, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is working consistently not only on the ongoing development of hybrid concepts already in regular production, but also on practical tests as part of the Stuttgart Model Region for Electromobility, using three research cars with all-electric drive based on the Porsche Boxster.

In the test process, these three electric Boxsters are to provide an initial first important insight into new electric drive components and battery systems for all-electric vehicle drive. This field test intended to also provide further findings on the infrastructure required for electromobility, user behaviour and the demands made of future products, is to start in early 2011.

Michael Macht, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Porsche AG, sees this contribution made by Porsche as absolutely essential: "We will definitely be offering an electric sports car in future. But such a concept only makes sense if it offers product qualities typical of a Porsche."

Porsche has been committed to electric mobility for a long time, thus helping to preserve the environment and save resources in our world: The spectacular concept study of the 918 Spyder high-performance mid-engined sports car with plug-in hybrid combines high-tech breakthroughs in engine technology and electromobility with a truly fascinating range of further qualities. Emissions otherwise to be found only on a super-mini of just 70 g/km CO2 with three litres fuel consumption for 100 kilometres in the NEDC (equal to 94.1 mpg imp), come with the performance of a super sportscar developing well over 600 horsepower.

The hybrid system of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid has been developed especially for racing, with two 60 kW (82 hp) electric motors on the front axle boosting the 480 hp six-cylinder power unit fitted at the rear. Replacing conventional batteries there is an electrical flywheel power storage system re-charged whenever the driver applies the brakes and thus delivering energy to the electric motors. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid has already proven its racing qualities in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

Introducing the Cayenne S Hybrid, Porsche also offers the first production car in the range able to run under electric power alone. With maximum output of 380 hp, the Cayenne S Hybrid makes do in the NEDC cycle with just 8.2 ltr/100 km (equal to 34.5 mpg imp), and CO2 emissions reduced to a mere 193 g/km. This hybrid technology will also be featured in the future Panamera S Hybrid due to enter the market next year.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago

      Did you read my mind?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have nothing against developing electric cars, but the technology is just not there yet. And this is a Porche, for God's sake. Only a small minority of the population can even afford one. Exactly how many of these do we see on the road every day? The answer: not too damn many. Something tells me the folks that can afford this car can certainly afford the fuel to put in it!
        • 5 Years Ago
        what part of the word "Testing" didn't you understand ?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Porsche Elecster.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I haven't seen proof of finite oil, or even peak oil, all I hear are 2nd and 3rd hand references to it, like it is almost wishful thinking.

      I do hear news-source headlines periodically of new reserves being discovered all over the world, that weren't known before.

      The only reason we export so much of our money, to import so much of our oil, is BAD POLITICS. BTW, don't forget to wave bye-bye to those Gulf of Mexico Oil Rigs, as they float to other parts of the world. Yeah. That kind of bad politics.

      And as I said, Porsche can do all the R&D they want, as long as it doesn't dilute their products for sale, or hike their prices further, making it even harder than it already is for people on any kind of a budget to save for, and buy their products.

      The frame of reference here is Lotus -> Tesla. The headline above doesn't say hybrid, it says ELECTRIC, which means NO fuel on board, only batteries.

      Tesla's battery pack weighs in the neighborhood of 900lbs. Not user serviceable at that weight, and certainly a large percentage of the vehicle's weight.

      The specific gravity of Premium gasoline according to my quick search, is about 54, or 6.350 pounds per gallon. The Lotus Elise for 2008 had a fuel capacity of 10.6 gallons. According to Komo-tec, the stock steel tank weighs 10.8kg, or 23.8lbs. (they sell a half-weight alloy replacement tank, @ 5.4kg/11.9lbs)

      So... 10.6 gal x 6.35lb/gal = 67.31lbs of fuel for a full tank. Plus 23.8lbs for the steel tank itself.

      A Grand Total of about 91.11lbs weight for fuel and it's tank. Probably another dozen pounds for fuel lines, and such... but we didn't count the heavy 600 volt wiring for the Tesla's battery pack...

      According to Tesla:
      "Tesla Motors calls the Roadster's lithium ion battery pack the Energy Storage System (ESS). Tesla Motors indicates that the range of the Roadster is about 220 miles (352 km) and the useful battery life is 100,000 miles (160,000 km)... The ESS battery pack design is made up of 6831 individual lithium ion cells and the total ESS battery pack weight is 900 lbs (409 kg)."

      900lbs is VERY close to exactly 10 times the weight of it's sister car Elise's fuel tank.

      EPA rates the Lotus at a low of 20mpg city, and a high of 27 highway for the two 2010 Lotus Elise/Exige models. Average is 23.5mpg. That number times 10.6 gallons of fuel on board... should take you 249.1 miles. pretty much 30 miles further than the Tesla's ESS. Lotus does not have a finite life for it's fuel tank, less than the life of the vehicle itself, and it's engine's longevity.

      Fuel takes a few minutes to fill, anywhere you can find a filling station. Electricity to charge the Tesla's ESS is not nearly as common. And if you are not at home, you had better want to knock on someone's door, and offer to re-iburse their next electric bill, and hang around for 2-8 hours, depending on electric current capacity.

      Meanwhile, the whole vehicle weight and price comparison:
      Lotus Elise for 2010MY, 1984lbs Curb weight, $47,250.
      Tesla Roadster current 2010MY: 2723lbs Curb weight, $128,500.

      So... Do we really want a boxster that carries less energy on board, but at a huge weight cost, which negatively affects handling?

      Do you want to drive around with 900lbs of lithium at your back? Have you seen a lithium battery auto-ignite? Or what it takes to mine Lithium?

      I'm sorry but Liquid fuel, and it's packaging, and ease of re-fueling, is ALL OVER electric storage.

      There is a reason that Nikola Tesla, the great contributor to sciences, and important man that he was, wasn't the head of a car manufacturing company like Ferdinand Porsche or Henry Ford, and that Tesla Motors is named after him a 60 years after his death... and still trying to iron out kinks in the design even now.

      The exploits of his nephew Peter Savo, with a modified Pierce Arrow automobile, and Tesla's "Power receiver" are considered fabricated, and no evidence of the Power Receiver as an induction power source for an electric motor in the automobile has been found.

      I never assert, now, in the past, or the future, that electric cars are impossible. They just are hampered by some severe detriments, such as weight, cost, and chemical composition, and a remote energy source generating the electricity, and transmitting it.

      Transmitting and storing large amounts of electricity is not a small issue. And most vehicles from small vehicles to submarines find it easier, if they use electricity, a little, or a lot, to generate it on board, from liquid fuel or something bigger, like a nuclear reactor.

      In the case of a road vehicle, if you are turning fuel into kinetic energy anyway (an engine), you might as well use the kinetic energy for motion, rather than
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The only reason we export so much of our money, to import so much of our oil, is BAD POLITICS. BTW"

        Please explain. The United States does not have enough oil reserves to even come close to covering 50% of our daily oil needs. That includes if politicians decided to open up ANWR and our coastlines, which will not happen any time soon.
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