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Europe: Porsche Focusing On Plug-In Hybrid Technology, Says Top Executive

Like many premium automakers, Porsche has been working on hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology for some time now.

But at the recent Vienna Motor Symposium, Porsche Executive Wolfgang Hatz reiterated that the German automaker views plug-in hybrids as a real part of its future, not just a science-fair project.

“Porsche is focusing on the deployment of plug-in hybrid technology in production,” Hatz confirmed, noting that although Porsche was keen to expand its electrification in hybrid models, “the combustion engine will continue to play a vital role for the drive system of sports cars in the foreseeable future.”

In other words, Porsche remains cool towards electric-only cars, but views hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars as essential to its future.

Why?

As with many luxury and premium automakers, hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains allow Porsche to continue to produce high-performance sports cars while meeting tough emissions targets. Plug-in hybrid models will also enable Porsche to retain its sales figures in cities where zero-emissions cordons prevent access to all except plug-in cars, even if that’s only with 15 miles of electric range.

In simple terms, hybrid drivetrains provide Porsche with the instant torque of and high low-speed acceleration of an electric motor, while retaining the power of a gasoline engine at higher speeds.

For customers too, hybrid drivetrains offer increased gas mileage, something that Hatz credits as being a driving factor towards positive sales figures of its existing Panamera and Cayenne hybrids.

“The sales figures for the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid for 2011 are more than twice as high as the figures for all our competitors combined in this market segment,” he said.
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