Porsche ditches diesel as it gears up for an electric future
Porsche has announced that it will cease to offer diesel versions of any of its vehicle models, citing a falling share in diesel sales and increased demand for hybrid and all-electric modes of transport.
The car company suspended sales of diesel vehicles in the UK earlier in the year, due to policy changes and the restructuring to emissions testing. This week, the company has revealed it will no longer offer diesel propulsion as part of its future vehicle portfolio.
“Porsche is not demonising diesel. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology. We as a sports car manufacturer, however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free,” Porsche AG’s chief executive Oliver Blume said.
“Naturally we will continue to look after our existing diesel customers with the professionalism they expect. Our aim is to occupy the technological vanguard – we are intensifying our focus on the core of our brand while consistently aligning our company with the mobility of the future.”
The decision to stop producing diesel vehicles was impacted by sales. The diesel share of global Porsche vehicles in 2017 stood at 12%, while 63% of Porsche Panameras sold in Europe were classed as hybrid models.
By 2022, Porsche estimates that it will have invested more than €6bn into electric vehicles (EVs). The manufacturer will introduce its first fully electric sports car – the Taycan – to the market next year.
Porsche claims that the manufacturing process for the Taycan is carbon neutral and will be supplied with renewable electricity through ultra-fast charging infrastructure, to be deployed across Europe. The Taycan is reported to have a driving range of 310 miles. The carmaker suggests that every other new Porsche vehicle product in 2025 could have an electric drive in some form.
The UK Government’s decision to ban the sale of new diesel vehicles by 2040 has forced the hand of some manufacturers to quicken a transition to low-carbon transport.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), for example, looks set to cut vehicle production of certain models, citing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and an increase in diesel taxation as primary reasons for the decision. Figures from early 2018 found that sales for diesel cars dropped by 20% last year after the Autumn Budget introduced a higher tax on new diesel cars.
However, the number of diesel vehicles still on the roads across Europe has actually increased since the Dieselgate scandal, with more than seven million such vehicles located on UK roads alone.
Despite numerous car manufacturers unveiling EV portfolios, very few have gone as far as to discontinue diesel. In fact, BMW recently told edie that clean diesel will be an important part of its vehicle mix.
For some, the UK’s 2040 phase-out day isn’t ambitious enough. The Green Alliance believes a deadline of 2030 is needed to hit climate targets and avoid the UK squandering its leadership on electric cars.
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