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With the Mission E, Porsche Looks to Improve EV Charging

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【Summary】As German automaker Porsche prepares to introduce the electric Mission E in 2019, it’s exploring ways to improve its overall EV technology. Uwe Michael, Porsche head of electrics and electronics, talked about the direction of batteries and ways the brand will improve the charging experience on high-performance electrified vehicles of the future.

Eric Walz    Jan 25, 2018 9:00 AM PT
With the Mission E, Porsche Looks to Improve EV Charging
author: Eric Walz   

As German automaker Porsche prepares to introduce the electric Mission E in 2019, it's exploring ways to improve its overall EV technology. In an interview with Motor Trend, Uwe Michael, Porsche head of electrics and electronics, talked about the direction of batteries and ways the brand will improve the charging experience on high-performance electrified vehicles of the future.

Porsche is introducing an 800-volt charging system compatible with the Mission E. This 800-volt system allows cars to recoup 249 miles of range in less than 20 minutes. But Porsche also wants to give drivers the ability to choose the charging output on their wall boxes based on their individual preferences.

Those driving a plug-in hybrid can choose an output of 3.6 kilowatts if they drive slower, or 7.2 kilowatts if they drive more aggressively. For electric vehicles, between 11 and 22 kilowatts is deemed appropriate.

The charging experience should also be tailored to your route plans, Michael says. With Porsche's Turbo Charging Planner, EV drivers can optimize quick charge options based on their route. Porsche also wants drivers to be able to reserve charging stalls to save even more time.

Many automakers have explored inductive charging, including Porsche. However, Michael notes that there are plenty of challenges in this area. He says that at first, this will only be an option for home charging. "We're delighted that all the brands within the Volkswagen Group are working together to find a uniform solution. This will go a long way towards setting a benchmark," he said.

OTA Updates to Increase Power When Needed

In order for EVs to achieve mass-market adoption, automakers must continue to improve existing battery technology. Michael predicts that traditional lithium-ion batteries will improve 5 percent in efficiency per year in the foreseeable future. These incremental improvements will add up to large increases in power. In the future, over-the-air updates could increase a car's power using software when the customer wants a little extra juice.

Porsche is working on solid-state batteries containing no liquid electrolyte. However, Michael doesn't expect this technology to reach cars until 2025. Lithium-air technology is even further out, and it's unlikely that this technology will appear in a production car before 2030.

BMW sees a future with Level 5 automation, the highest level of autonomy on the SAE scale. These vehicles will not require a steering wheel, brake pedal, or accelerator because the car controls all functions by itself.

However, Porsche vehicles offer a thrilling driving experience and the company does not want a self-driving Porsche to tamper with its storied sports car history. According to Michael, Level 5 isn't a priority for Porsche. Instead, the automaker will continue to make strides with ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) that work alongside human drivers.


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