The Taycan versus the Tesla Model S. Anyone taking bets?
Something has happened in the management halls of Stuttgart, Germany, home of Porsche. That something is newfound confidence in electric vehicles, specifically the upcoming Taycan. According to CNBC, Porsche has decided to double production rates of the Taycan before it has even been revealed from 20,000 to 40,000 units annually. This may sound surprising to many but, in reality, perhaps it’s not.
Starting last summer, Porsche began taking Taycan pre-orders and although we don’t know precisely how many of these first customers have placed deposits so far, the early response must be rock solid. No automaker would just decide on a whim to double production of a vehicle expected to cost around $80,000 if it didn’t have concrete data indicating a clear sales hit.
As a direct rival to the current benchmark, the Tesla Model S, the Taycan has to do everything better, such as range, performance, design, and driving experience. Following the Model S is a tough act to beat but Porsche clearly believes the Taycan will be a success. The German automaker is also taking a page from the Tesla playbook about what not to do: underestimate consumer demand. Just look at what happened with the Model 3.
Though the price difference between a Model 3 and Taycan will be vast, there are still plenty of wealthy people anxious to buy Porsche’s first-ever electric vehicle. Based on the Mission E concept’s design and prototype performance indicators, the Taycan could very well become the new luxury EV benchmark. Porsche knows this and is already planning accordingly.
At the same time, a Porsche spokesperson stated that the carmaker "had been ready for (the production increase). We had the ability to increase capacity from the beginning, and executives recently made the decision to go ahead.” Although EVs currently make up only 1 percent of overall car sales in the US today, this figure will soon grow. Stop and think for a moment what new EVs are already on sale and the others, aside from the Taycan, that are coming soon. The Jaguar I-Pace and Hyundai Kona EV are just two currently on sale examples. By 2021 the Audi e-tron GT, which will share a platform with the Taycan, will arrive along with the likes of the BMW i4 and host of less expensive offerings. Porsche also previously stated the Taycan-based Cross Turismo concept will be built.
Ford even just announced it’s developing an all-electric F-150 pickup truck. Does this mean EVs will soon eliminate internal combustion altogether? No, but EVs will soon no longer be bought by only the so-called "early adopters” and green energy proponents. They’re about to go mainstream and Porsche is bullish on that.