Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

We assume that most of you reading this have an electric propulsion vehicle or at least have driven one. Being an owner of two, I have struggled to find balance when driving our large SUV with the entire family (in-laws too) in the vehicle. The moment you let off the gas pedal, you realize how much energy is wasted when the vehicle must be stopped using friction and none of that energy is recovered. Making an SUV with a PHEV system is only natural due to the sheer weight and size of the automobile.

Porsche is not the first to offer a PHEV SUV, but Porsche is the first to bring one to United States and it's called the Cayenne S E-Hybrid.

The first thing most EV drivers are looking for when testing a new vehicle is how much “electric torque” is available. Well there is very little here with the 2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid. In fact, it feels at ~20% of Nissan LEAF acceleration.

With only 14 miles of EPA rated EV range (full EPA report here), the Cayenne S E-Hybrid is not likely to transport you to a nearby city on EV power alone, but you will use the 10 kWh battery capacity to achieve SUV efficiency higher than anything available on the U.S. market today.

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid delivers a moderate EV experience with the expected Porsche power behind it. The transition from electric to gasoline mode is seamless.

The EPA has the final ratings at 47 MPGe and 22 MPG Gasoline. Now, that is not even close to the plug-in hybrid cars out there.  However, for a Porsche SUV to be at 22 MPG, that's at least somewhat impressive.

Full Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid details, pricing and specs can be found here.

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

The particular Porsche SUV that I drove had the an adjustable air suspension option and Porsche claims that can further add to the fuel economy.

The vehicle has only a 3.3 kWh on-board charger that perhaps is enough for this battery size, but the biggest surprise was that the portable charger that can do both 110v and 220v with an included adapter. It is very bulky compared to Tesla's unit, but it should put other OEMs on notice to start producing a dual-voltage portable charger.

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

The Cayenne E-Hybrid is extremely quick. With the help of the electric motor, 5.4 seconds for the 0 to 60 mph dash sure feels powerful. Handing is fantastic and Porsche is not compromising on any aspects of performance with the addition of plug in hybrid components.

For those that are not willing to wait for the Tesla Model X to finally enter production, perhaps this SUV could be an alternative.

The vehicle tested was priced at ~$100,000 (the plug-in Cayenne starts at $76,400 however), or right within the range of Tesla Model X territory, therefore a decision to buy this vehicle purely on its plug-in characteristics might be a difficult, but it is the only choice we in the U.S. have right now until the BMW X5 PHEV arrives next summer.

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid - Image Credit: Michael Beinenson