Balancing battery size, power, and weight is no easy task.
It is quickly dawning upon most major car manufacturers that the future of the automobile is green, and for the most part, electric. Mercedes-Benz has declared that it will go all-electric by 2030, but Volkswagen is less enthusiastic and says it will be 50 percent electric by 2030. Bentley wants to be carbon-neutral by that same date, and Nissan plans to launch 23 new electric models by 2030. One of the leaders in sports car manufacturing, Porsche, also has a goal of hitting carbon neutrality by 2030, and its first all-electric car, the Taycan, has been a raging success. It now plans to refine its battery technology to increase range, performance, and sustainability.
According to Porsche, the battery pack accounts for around 40 percent of the carbon dioxide produced when a single Taycan sports car is manufactured. This is a heavy cost, but the battery size determines a lot, including range and performance. Porsche says that most US citizens get range anxiety when thinking about electric cars, and that the balance between performance and range is of the utmost importance. According to Porsche's statistics, most of its customers drive less than 50 miles per day, and that 80 percent of the journeys that take place in a week come up to less than 280 miles.
When it comes to outright performance, Porsche says there's a common misconception that a larger battery means higher performance. Through rigorous testing, Porsche has calculated that a Taycan Turbo S fitted with an 85.1-kWh battery and weighing 5,333 pounds can lap the Nordschleife in 7:39.5 minutes. The same car with a smaller 70-kWh battery lowers the vehicle weight to 5,093 lbs; this configuration adds just seven-tenths of a second to the car's lap time.
However, the lower weight allows the lighter car to sprint to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, 0.02 seconds quicker than the heavier car. The smaller battery does lose out when it comes to top speed runs, where the big battery car gets to 124 mph eight-tenths quicker. What does all of this mean? Essentially, an overall weight saving does not necessarily make up for a battery with reduced power.
In-depth studies have also shown that lighter batteries might be better at reducing carbon emissions, but medium-sized batteries deliver the best driving dynamics and travel time. After a series of tests, Porsche has found that a 100-kWh battery delivers the best balance between charging time, distance, and performance, especially when paired with the company's 800-volt DC charging system. Porsche believes that its second-generation electric vehicles will further reduce the carbon emissions of battery production and increase overall performance.