Oliver Blume: "He has to drive like a 911"
Porsche introduces its first electric car. Chef Oliver Blume talks about e-mobility, respect for Elon Musk and the goal of becoming a climate-neutral sports car manufacturer.
Electric cars are well on their way to leaving the niche. Even the sports car manufacturer Porsche now brings with the Taycan a purely electric car on the market. CEO Oliver Blume explains in an interview why he considers it logical to focus on the electric drive and how to succeed in using sustainably mined raw materials.
ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Flower, you grew up in simple conditions in Brunswick. Was there a topic for you?
Oliver Blume: When I was a kid, like all my friends, I played a lot with matchbox cars. The Porsche was one of my favorite cars. And at the Quartet he usually stung the others. That was cool, of course. I did not drive my first own Porsche until 2013, when I started at Porsche.
ZEIT ONLINE: Today you present in Berlin with the Taycan the first all-electric Porsche. Why is a sports car electric?
Flower: Why not? E-mobility stands for high performance and efficiency. That fits in with Porsche. On the racetrack, for example with three successive wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours, we have already had very positive experiences with this technology. And we're working hard on how the future of the automobile looks like. By the way: As Ferry Porsche ...
ZEIT ONLINE: ... the son of the company founder ...
Blume: ... In the 1940s, sports cars began to be built, first developed as a roadster. At that time people had other worries. But Ferry Porsche has looked to the future, held on to its ideology and developed one of the most successful automobiles in the world. This move was brave but sound. And that's what we're focusing on today. We have looked at various zero-emission propulsion alternatives: electric, hydrogen and synthetic fuels. In terms of energy efficiency in the well-to-wheel approach, the electric drive is clearly superior to the other. And his technique fits very well with the sports car. Acceleration and power are available even faster than the burner. In this respect, it is only logical for us to develop a fully electric sports car. In addition, sustainability is a central goal of our corporate strategy. We take our responsibility for society and the environment seriously.
ZEIT ONLINE: What will the Taycan cost?
Blume: We start with the top model. Since the price is around 150,000 euros. The starting price will be below 100,000 euros, slightly below the Panamera.
ZEIT ONLINE: How many of them do you want to sell in 2020?
Blume: The response is extremely good. Well over 20,000 customers have already expressed their serious buying interest with a deposit. And that, even though they have not even seen Taycan, let alone driven. That creates the confidence that customers have in our brand. We originally planned with 20,000 vehicles produced per year. We will now adjust this number upwards.
ZEIT ONLINE: Washat you driven stronger? The success of Tesla or the diesel scandal?
Flower: Neither. We initiated the project - e-mobility at Porsche - much earlier. And I have a lot of respect for what Elon Musk did with Teslag. The deciding factor for the decision to build the Taycan, however, was ultimately the result of a sober analysis: the sports car of the future will be electric. On one condition: he must drive like a 911.
ZEIT ONLINE: Is not the real reason quite another? The emissions laws are getting sharper. By 2030, manufacturers will have to save another 37.5 percent on emissions compared to 2021. Porsche would never have done that with petrol engines.
Blume: We fully support the political commitment. Therefore, it has always been our aspiration to reach the limits on our own. For a comparatively small car company like Porsche, which also builds sports cars, it would not have been considered that that long ago. In the meantime, I am confident that we can even exceed CO2 targets by 2030.
ZEIT ONLINE: This is also due to the fact that the emissions of an electric car by law are set to zero, no matter where the electricity comes from. Is that clean?
Blume: Emission-free mobility in urban areas is a key goal of e-mobility. But to be clear: In order to be truly CO2-neutral, energy must come from renewable sources. By the way: All our locations are also supplied with natural electricity. And our claim goes even further. In production, we have already reduced CO2 emissions per vehicle by 75 percent in the past five years. Our vision is 100 percent: a company with no ecological footprint. From development through production to recycling. With the completely CO2-neutral production of the Taycan, we are now setting the starting point.