It's no secret that Porsche has been working toward an electrified future. In motorsports, it has campaigned and won with and sells hybrid versions of the and . Now the German sports car maker is turning its attention to full electric vehicles. A couple of have served as precursors to the Taycan production car that will arrive in showrooms by the end of 2019 to give the a run for its money. The Taycan is expected to pack more than 600 horsepower, be capable of hitting and have a roughly 300-mile drive range.
To make thea reality, Porsche is investing 6 billion euro, which in part has gone to constructing new facilities around its Zuffenhausen, Germany assembly campus that already builds the , and . The new buildings include a body shop, paint shop and a more than half-mile conveyor system to transport painted Taycan shells to the final assembly line.
Going into the final assembly plant is a new construction process using Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) that's been under development over the past two and half years. Porsche says its new line features the first use of AGVs for continuous series production. Compared to the common skillet conveyor setup, the AGVs don't require tracks in the floor providing the flexibility to implement curves into the line, giving workers more space if needed to maneuver larger parts. Without rigid track links in the floor, the layout can be adjusted quickly later to better handle the construction of future models on the same line.
Currently, 100 associates are fine tuning the flow of the AGV line on a smaller scale in Porsche's pilot center, which is the same place used to build the. The crew churns out two preproduction vehicles per day. The hope here is to work out all the kinks before the production process is upsized and implemented into the full-fledge Taycan plant.
In all, Porsche says the Taycan launch will add 1,200 new employees. They will mix in with roughly 300 to 400 current personnel from the 911 line who are volunteering to migrate over to EV production and mentor new workers on company culture. Since producing electric vehicles is a new thing to Porsche, all workers will also receive appropriate training regarding safe practices on the handling of EVs.
At launch Porsche is targeting production of 20,000 to 25,000 Taycans per year over the course of two shifts. However, if demand warrants it, company officials says there's plenty of flexibility ranging from extending shifts, Saturday production or adding a third shift. If any of that will be necessary remains to be seen.