If there's one thing the Taycan needs, it's more range.
It's pretty clear to us that Porsche is getting ready for change. The company has started seriously thinking about the future of its models, and the brand's recent efforts show that. Porsche is hedging its bets on synthetic fuels by investing in or partnering with companies to make sure its petrol models like the Porsche 911 can live on. At the same time, Porsche is funneling money into electric vehicles and charging solutions to support current models like the Porsche Taycan, as well as future EV Porsches.
This article is going to be about the latter. Porsche has acquired a stake in Group14 Technologies, a Washington-based producer of silicon-carbon technology for lithium-ion batteries. As its lead investor, Porsche is raising around $100 million and leading a Series C funding round in which several companies are investing $400 million.
The company says it intends to use the influx of cash from Stuttgart to increase the production of anode material for lithium-ion batteries, like those found in the Taycan. In all likelihood, that means either graphite powder or silicon. The overwhelming majority of Li-Ion batteries use these for their anode material. Simply put, the anode is the negative electrode that releases electrons to the external circuit.
Before this year is out, Porsche says Group14 will also begin construction of another factory used to produce battery active materials. Group14 will also supply Cellforce, a Porsche-held battery cell developer. Porsche says Cellforce battery cells are "expected to be used in electrically-powered Porsche vehicles with high-performance powertrains." We're betting that means these cells will be in both the eventual electric 718 Cayman and Boxster, as well as the hybrid 911.
From the looks of things, Porsche is playing it smart. The company is building an interconnecting web of suppliers to ensure that it'll always have what it needs for its electrified models. With any luck, that also means the brand will be better insulated from any supply shortages, like those we're experiencing now. Additionally, Porsche is clearly looking to level up its battery game.
By having subsidiaries and suppliers that develop batteries, Porsche should be able to better deploy these technologies in their cars. Given Porsche's history of success with its models, these batteries had better be worth their salt. There's plenty of similarly-priced EVs that can out-range the Taycan, and that has to change if Porsche is going to stay competitive.