Porsche Eyes Solid-State Batteries For Future Electric 911, Boxster

1 month ago by Mark Kane 25

Porsche Mission E Concept

Electrification of the Porsche 911 and Boxster faces a fairly unique challenge, as the current lithium-ion battery technology is claimed to not be energy-dense enough to accommodate those platforms.

2011 Porsche Boxster E Prototype

Porsche laments that an electric version of its flagship sports car would accelerate better, but putting the batteries under the seats will heavily affect the low ride height and class-leading handling and roadholding (weight).

The answer for this problem could well be next generation batteries, such as solid-state ones, although those are years away from commercial production.

Porsche R&D boss Michael Steiner said:

“Fully electrified sports cars would work very well for longitudinal acceleration, but the weight disadvantage is in the handling.”

“When this could happen depends on the evolution of battery power and cell density.”

“We see potential new battery technology coming that may change the game again, but they are still in development,”

The original Boxster BEV prototype (with batteries behind the seats) apparently didn’t matched its conventional counterpart, due higher weight.

The problem with the battery pack between the axles is that it raises driver position and body. So Porsche is considering whether to remove the rear seats or use a T-shape battery such as in the Chevrolet Volt.

“That’s a question we have asked ourselves: can it be a 911 with only two seats?”

From our prospective, the excuse feels like a bit of a cop out as Porsche employs some of the best engineers in the business.

We suspect if the platform was built with future battery housing in mind, the minds at Porsche could have more easily solved the riddle rather than relying on future-tech solutions…but the post-dieselgate VW of 2017 (we will electrify the entire lineup by 2030 at the latest) isn’t anything like what it was before, and now the scramble is on.

source: Autocar

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25 responses to "Porsche Eyes Solid-State Batteries For Future Electric 911, Boxster"

  1. James says:

    Modern computer control of handling dynamics would take front row in a 911 built on top of a skateboard platform, batteries inside.

    Yes, There’s weight, but it’s so low as center of gravity exists mere inches off the ground.

    The graphic above of a Boxter E with pack behind the seats seems much to much like the Tesla Roadster, which had to place the pack there as it was the chassis of an existing Lotus.

    Any new EV sports car, developed from scratch would be based on a Tesla S,X,3 type arrangement.

    Ever ran an adult-class slot car on a local hobby store track? The plate of the car’s chassis is basically on the ground. All it’s weight that low means 300-400 scale mph with turns at unheard of speeds.

    Porsche seems either purely purist in avoiding slip controls or more electronic management of all four wheels to finesse the heavier car around corners, or averse to “copying” Tesla by building a new gen 911 and Boxter on a skateboard.

    Hey VW/Porsche, it was GM that invented the skateboard chassis, and they didn’t use it either!

    Physics are physics. There are limits a rubber-tired object can sling around a corner. Electronic nannies will rule the day. A passenger car cannot have the dynamics of a F1 car unless help comes from computers. Look what happened to Rimac.

  2. Milos says:

    Mission e is going to be huge success so electric 911 is inevitable.

    1. georgeS says:

      Yes Milos,
      I don’t know if Insideevs ran the article or not but Porsche finally stated a price at 85,000$

      http://fortune.com/2017/09/15/porsche-electric-car-cost/

      Plus 15 minute charge times and 3.5 0-60 time.

  3. James says:

    Ler’s say Porsche is holding to the “pure driver experience” theory.

    An ideal sporty romp around a track or over a twisty mountain road can be a life altering experience. The driver wants full control, no traction control for him!

    But these cars, like all cars spend the majority of their lives plying public roads. As seen on the ‘Tube, so much daily fun comes from that quick roller coaster blast of an EV that can have you doing fighter pilot exercises so not to pass out from the G forces.

    Such is life, today. If you live near an area with miles of twisties where you can drive fast and not endanger lives, go for that Porsche experience.Or hit the track.

    That 911 could not touch the lap time of a skateboard-based,Purpose built EV sports car. In today’s world where so many see full autonomy as so thrilling, I say even performance minded drivers can let some micro adjustments be done by the car. The result would be that Porsche would have to follow suit or be left behind…Laps behind.

    Purist? No. Fun and fast? Heck yeah!

    1. Mr240Z says:

      As an old race driver I think good handling is balancing the grip with a well designed chassis and suspension, (for example; Double wishbones in front and multi-link in back) with responsive steering, sticky tires, big brakes, and a power train with good torque to accelerate off the corners. I think I just described the new Tesla Model 3.

      1. L'amata says:

        Yea, All that with zer0 smoke pollution, Plus+ zer0 grunting & groaning, noise pollution!

  4. James says:

    Has Porsche lost it’s engineering mojo?

    The Chinese NIO EP9 raced around the Nurburgring faster than any Porsche ever has.

    NIO used battery modules on the ground, running along the sides of the chassis. Flat and swappable.

    Is Porsche blind to other options or coming up with excuses why it has to wait for
    some afar off technology?

    1. R.S says:

      I’ll try to answer all of your posts at once.

      I think Porsche is specifically talking about the 911, which is a very special car. It needs to be a gran tourer and a sports car.

      So Porsche could probably make it a 50kWh sports car that can go around the track really fast, or a 80kWh that can go really far. Both, long range and good handling, probably isn’t possible, yet. For the 911.

      The Nio is a pretty big sports car, with a lot of hp, so it can accommodate a 80 kWh pack and go quickly around the race track. The Nio is 18 inches longer and 17 inches wider. But in real life the Nio wouldn’t really be a practical vehicle. It is almost as long as a Model S and even a couple of inches wider.

      The 911 was always something in between. Very usable in real life and very good on a track. And I’m not sure if that’s already possible with batteries. Again, just with a car the size of a 911.

      They will build the Mission E in 2019, which will be quick around a track and have a high driving range. But it will be a larger car, with more battery space down low for good handling. They will use a skateboard chassis, so it will handle nicely and since there will be a lot of wheelbase it will have a big battery. but it won’t look like a 911 and it won’t be as tossable.

      1. James says:

        Good points all, but Porsche has always struggled with tradition vs. innovation.

        911 front and center. Porsche knows if it strays from it’s roots, it loses 50% of it’s nostalgia-bound customers.

        Case in point, Cayman and Boxster. At the very outset of the Boxster, which birthed Cayman, Porsche and everyone else realized it’s mid engine gave it superior handling balance over the rear engined 911. The 911 traditionalists were up in arms! How dare Porsche even think of making a less expensive 2 seater that made 911 look bad?!

        So Porsche has jumped through hoop after hoop ever since. The 911 being a great profit maker for the company, those traditionalists at the core.

        They have used every trick they could think if to improve the 911’s inherent tail-heaviness, with innumerable Turbos lying in the ditch, a victim of their own wicked overseer. Traditionalists considered it an accepted quirk of their beloved sports tourer.

        Rather than limit Cayman and Boxsters bhp, which eventually lead to today’s silly 4 cylinder “solution”… Why not ditch the back seat which truly seats no one, and just scootch the flat six ahead of the transaxle and call it good? A BETTER 911!

        That would hatch the ire of traditionists and lose business. So we have a 911 with tech to limit it’s inherent nastiness, which never has gone away, and mid-engoned Caymans and Boxsters which in every true sense handle better and cost less but lack that silly back seat suitable only for golf clubs.

        It shows how Porssche rolls. A very odd dilemma no other automaker deals with.

        It makes this current rationale from them understandable. The solution is just make 911 a proprietary EV, and stop fussing with the ICE altogether.

        Again I point to Porsche’s words in the article. They lament over making an EV version which means they would use the existing ICE platform.

        1. James says:

          I will add one acknowledgement that justifies Porsche and the 911.

          That is the “secret” that 911 fans all know. The ability to own a sports car but tell insurance companies its a 2+2, lowering rates.

          Look, the car is a $120,000 car. Does that even matter at this point?

        2. R.S says:

          The 911 is too valuable for Porsche to screw it up. There are way too many fans and it’s basically the reason why they can ask so much for the SUVs.

          So if they make an electric 911, it will already be a tough pill to swallow for the enthusiasts. So they better make it look exactly like the old one. Exactly like the old one!

          And I know a couple of 911 owners, those rear seats are important, if you want to transport something. Like you mentioned, often it’s actually golf clubs, or a tennis bag.

          For the 911 to transition to electric propulsion, they better change nothing else. I’t like when they went from natural aspirated to turbo charged engines. They changed very little else on that car.

          So Porsche can go wild with other EVs. And I think they will, they are hoping for 50% EVs in 6 years. But the 911 will probably be one of the hardest to transfer. An electric 918 successor would make total sense, though.

          1. G2 says:

            Great discussion guys.
            BTW Fully Charged covered a 911 EV conversion that is better than the original

        3. Ozgur says:

          Don’t they make the mid engine 911. I belive it is called 911 RSR;)

  5. John Doe says:

    An Asian manufacturer of solid state batteries are already sending samples to manufacturers. The first car with a solid state battery will be made in China next year.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      More info, please!

  6. James says:

    The true dilemma Porsche faces from this article can be found in their own words – “…Porsche laments that an electric version if it’s flagship sports car…”

    This word, version indicates they want to build the gas car indefinitely, just add electrified versions if it…So, indeed they will be challenged beyond comprehension. Only so many platforms a manufacturer can afford and still make a profit.

    Thus, Porsche, just get on with it and ditch the complexities if the piston beast and go all electric. It’s the obvious answer, and inevitable.

    Why not lead, and not follow?

  7. Pjwood1 says:

    The rear seats are still ahead of the rear axle, where a weight change converts it’s classic overweight tail to a mid-engine dynamic. They want that density where the engine was.

  8. James says:

    With energy density of lithium ion batteries increasing each year, I can see a 65-70kwh 911 built on a skateboard pack/chassis with race car suspension. No change from current 911 wheelbase.

    Use Model 3 with it’s 2170 cells as example. If 75kwh was the max possible within it’s form factor, a slightly denser battery would make a 911 possible.

    1. James says:

      AWD would make it a blast!

  9. I3 says:

    Solid state battery is overdue it’s been 7 years and we are using a similar battery technology.

    With Solid state most of the hardware/software that is used to maintain/condition the non-ev battery also could be out of the window.

    Heard it is much simpler to make solid state(sodium) than the current technology which is toxic and a lengthy process.

    Glad to hear some companies are actually making them.

    1. I3 says:

      Automakers waiting for Solid state batteries using it as an excuse should try making EVs instead of waitinig for say 10 years.

  10. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “From our prospective, the excuse feels like a bit of a cop out as Porsche employs some of the best engineers in the business.”

    Not only a cop out, but an embarrassingly obvious excuse!

    Really, Porsche, is that the best your marketing department could come up with to explain why you’re not challenging Tesla in making high-performance EVs that beat the pants off nearly every performance gasmobile? The lame excuse — clearly it’s not an actual reason — that you would have to either raise the low-slung seats a few inches, or remove the rear seat?

    If you wait until somebody starts selling commercially produced solid state batteries, those EV makers who are not waiting around are gonna eat up all of your market. You can be sure Tesla ain’t gonna wait around for solid state batteries before it develops its new generation Roadster!

  11. Randy Bryan says:

    There are still a lot of gear heads that love the purr/roar of an engine… That’s been porsche’s and the 911’s market. They might push the 911 to a hybrid, but I say go no further. I suggest they experiment with EVs on other models. Make a new e-king of the roads.

  12. Bill Howland says:

    At first blush I’m thinking Porsche still hasn’t even completed its ‘visionary’ ideas for the car. Seems like another German model that will always be in the future, just like the rest of VW’s ev lineup.

  13. bogdan says:

    So Porsche is still waiting, nothing new here.

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