Despite occasional comments to the contrary made by company executives, the German automaker Porsche is pretty clearly looking to release of a fully electric vehicle within the near future — based on a series of patent applications made by the company in the US, Germany, and China, anyways.
These patent applications include both battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain designs, interestingly. The powertrain designs seem to conform to expectations for the company’s upcoming mid-size luxury sedan — the Panamera Junior (the Pajun). The model is currently expected to go on sale in 2017 or 2018.
Worth noting is that the modifications necessary to turn the Pajun into an all-electric vehicle are substantial — showing that serious thought has gone into the design.
AutoCar provides more information:
The patents show that the Porsche EVs will sit on a substantially new structure, although it is based on an adaptation of the upcoming MSB platform, which will be used for the new Panamera, future Bentley models and the new Porsche executive saloon, known as the Pajun.
The battery-powered version will have at least a Tesla-matching 420bhp, but there’s no clue yet about when it will arrive in showrooms. The best estimates suggest a market introduction in late 2017 or early 2018. The version powered by a fuel cell stack looks likely to arrive in limited-production runs shortly afterwards.
There’s no news on the likely range of the EV, but it will at least match the 265-mile US government rating achieved by the Tesla Model S.
According to the uncovered patents, which were filed in December last year, Porsche engineers have designed a new structural rear-mounting system for the electric drive motors. This makes the powertrain itself part of the ‘eMSB’ structure, which will help to stiffen the rear end, improve the overall rigidity and ensure resilience in a rear-end impact. In addition, company engineers have patented something called an ‘impact plate’, which is also part of the platform’s new structure. These plates will be fitted between the battery cells, running across from one sill structure to another.
The AutoCar article provides more details on the patents filed, so those interested may want to head on over there and take a look.
A final note: Porsche is apparently also working on its own induction charging system, thereby looking to create a system to allow the battery to be charged without actually needing to plug anything in. No doubt something that would be a good selling point to the wealthy (and lazy?).