Iconic 911 to be the sole survivor of Porsche’s ICE glory days

Porsche aims to make its iconic 911 the only internal-combustion engine model left standing, according to Reuters.

Riaan Porsche1

Porsche has a plan to gradually electrify its car line-up so that electric vehicles will make up 80% of sales by 2030, a top executive said.

The German luxury automaker's plans have been closely watched, including by environmentalists, because of its investment in e-fuels, and will push for the EU to allow sales of such vehicles after 2035.

Porsche, which had not previously outlined plans to ultimately have only one combustion-engine model, is seen as closely associated with e-fuels because of an investment in Chilean energy company, HIF Global.

The automaker will electrify its compact SUV Macan, followed by the 718 sports car and then the best-selling Cayenne, Porsche e-fuels team leader Karl Dums said. The 911, which accounted for 13% of sales in 2022, is the exception.

"Our strategy in the first place is switching to electric mobility and ... we will produce the 911 as long as possible with a combustion engine. Porsche's EV plans and e-fuels investment are separate,” he said.

E-fuel is made from captured carbon dioxide and renewably produced hydrogen - when it burns it re-emits CO2, which proponents say makes it carbon-neutral.

HIF Global's e-fuel is more aimed at the aviation industry and heavy vehicles, as passenger cars will almost all go electric, Karl added.

Automotive and business experts said e-fuels would be used only in niche, high-end models. Major automakers will likely avoid new e-fuel models after 2035, having already committed $1.2 trillion to electrification.

By comparison, e-fuel start-ups – focused mostly on aviation fuel – have attracted less than $1 billion in investment, according to Pitchbook.

Like Porsche, Ferrari pushed for an EU e-fuels exemption – which has yet to be finalised – but still says 80% of its models will be electric or hybrid by 2030.

A host of smaller carmakers also want to sell luxury, high-performance e-fuel models to customers rich enough to afford the expensive fuel, which today can cost up to R228 ($12.90) per litre.

Morgan Motor Co's four-wheel cars are made by hand in Malvern, England, and little has changed externally on the cars, which sell for over R1.7 million ($100,000), since the World War II era.

Owned by European private equity firm, Investindustrial, Morgan made around 600 cars last year and is expanding into the US market, said CEO Massimo Fumarola.

Morgan will launch an electric model later this decade, but many customers will want e-fuel-powered combustion-engine models long after 2035, Massimo said.

Liverpool-based Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) makes customisable, single-seater race cars that cost an average of over R7.8 million (£350 000). It makes one or two cars a month but is expanding into many new markets, including Germany.

BAC's customers show no interest in EVs, Chairperson Mike Flewitt said.

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