When Porsche announced the Mission E, people were thrilled to have an alternative to Tesla being produced by a company that is well-respected for the exactness of its engineering. Now, as the Mission E launch looms closer, Porsche has given us more in-depth information about its 800-volt charging system, batteries, motors, and autonomous driving features.
The first big piece of news involves that 800-volt figure. Porsche has set the working voltage of its electric vehicles at 800 volts. Currently, most EVs work on 400-volt systems. What that means in terms of charging is that Porsche will be able to, in theory, charge its vehicles twice as fast as the current reigning champ of fast charging, Tesla. Porsche chose to up the vehicle's voltage, rather than amperage (which most other manufacturers do) in a bid to reduce the weight creep that comes with increased ampacity requirements in cables and components while still improving performance.
Porsche is also upping the voltage on individual vehicle systems, such as roll control, to 48 volts, as seen in the Bentley Bentayga. This allows actuators and sensors to work much more quickly than they would be able to in a conventional 12-volt system. Other vehicle ancillaries will continue to run on 12 volts due to the robust nature of those components.
When it comes to batteries, Porsche is partnering with Panasonic and LG on custom-spec lithium-ion cells, banking on a five percent increase in efficiency per year to reach 500 kilometers of range, which it reckons is the magic number for potential customers. It is also working with a company called Quantumscape to advance solid-state battery technology, which it hopes to have in production cars by 2030.
Other big news comes in the form of planned over the air updates for future vehicles to help keep them safer and more relevant for longer. Uwe Michael, head of Porsche electrics/electronics offered increased power and an aquaplaning warning system as examples of updates that could go out over the air, much like its current infotainment system updates though he hinted at more app-like updates as well.
"Why shouldn't it be possible for delivery companies to deliver packages to my luggage compartment via remote opening enabled through an app? Why shouldn't my vehicle direct me to a vacant parking space, and reserve it and pay for the parking ticket at the same time? Many little conveniences of this kind are conceivable for vehicle owners," said Michael.
It's interesting to see Porsche's rather unique take on the many challenges involved in developing electric vehicles and this update, particularly the news surrounding 800-volt charging, makes us more excited than ever to get our hands on the Mission E when it hits the streets.