If Volkswagen wants to focus on scale and cost with its unified cell, that’s not the main concern Porsche has. The premium German carmaker will benefit from Volkswagen’s platform for cells, but its customers are more worried about high performance. This is why the company is betting on silicon of the anodes and also planning to build high power charging areas for its EVs.
Oliver Blume talked about these plans at the Volkswagen Power Day. According to Porsche’s CEO, the company was always a synonym for high-performance vehicles, with a heritage in motorsports that helped it develop many of its production combustion-engined cars. The idea with EVs would be similar.
Porsche would have applied performance solutions it learned with the 919 Hybrid on the Taycan, such as 800V for the battery pack and the cooling concepts that would allow it to make multiple acceleration tests. Porsche would also have used the virtual development methodology the 919 Hybrid required on the Taycan.
That said, Blume believes Porsche will become a leader in high-performance cell chemistry. They will use high-performance cooling concepts, an optimised cell design, and new materials, such as silicon in the anodes. According to the Porsche CEO, these premium batteries will all be made in Europe. We even know where: Skellefteå, in Sweden, at the gigafactory Volkswagen and Northvolt are building.
Silicon provides big advantages over graphite, such as the capacity to store ten times more lithium-ions, much lower lithium plating tendency, and the possibility to use thinner layers of the material, which reduces weight at the same time it lowers internal resistance.
Porsche will continue to pursue new solutions that favour high-performance in electric cars. According to Blume, Porsche has a goal of 40 percent more energy density, 50 percent more power density, and the ability to work at temperatures that are 35 percent higher than the current cells.
These state-of-the-art cells would also have a goal to be 30 percent lighter, present 25 percent less internal resistance, and 40 percent more recuperation performance. It’s almost like making batteries work more like capacitors without their disadvantages. Lamborghini bet on the use of both supercapacitors “disguised” as body panels and batteries with the Terzo Millenio concept. Perhaps Porsche is considering a similar approach.
Since Porsche drivers will try to seize their cars' high-performance whenever possible – and hopefully whenever legal – the company will create what it calls Porsche HPC Stations. They will present 6 to 12 charging points with 350 kW or more along Europe’s major motorways to complement Porsche’s charging solutions with something unique in road trips.
Blume promised Porsche would select attractive locations for Porsche customers to “be sure of the most comfortable and fastest long-distance travel experience possible.” They will have an exclusive design, luxurious waiting areas, and all chargers will be covered to provide effective weather protection.
The idea is to supplement the Ionity chargers with a unique experience for Porsche owners when they need more juice for their cars. Although they may have longer ranges in the future, pushing hard on the accelerator pedal will always demand more frequent stops. Making them more comfortable is certainly a smart strategy.