The new Porsche Taycan is considered as revolutionary at the German sports car maker as the upcoming model is its first all-electric vehicle. Nonetheless, the new Taycan four-door EV will also be the starting point of a new revolution in the company. As Porsche is committing itself to electric mobility, it also has to undergo a significant change, especially in terms of production.
Porsche is currently building its conventionally powered vehicles, including its 911 sports car, using the traditional principle of an assembly line. But when it commences the production of the Taycan, Porsche will be implementing major changes for the production and assembly facilities of the new EV.
Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Board responsible for Finance and IT at Porsche, remarked that starting 2025, more than 50 percent of the Porsche models delivered are expected to be electrified. While this will require substantial investments in development, production, and staff training, Porsche believes that the carmaker will still be able to achieve a target profit margin of at least 15 percent.
To start off, Porsche is injecting around EUR6 billion in investments. This won't just be for matters related to only the Taycan but also for other future operations of the carmaker, including the ongoing development of Porsche Production 4.0 and a knowledge sharing campaign across the whole company.
For the Taycan, Porsche Production 4.0 will be implemented, and the company is building a “factory within a factory” at its main site in Zuffenhausen. This factory will do away with assembly line production and will instead implement a flexi-line production system that will employ driverless transport systems in a continuous series production process. Such new system will combine the advantages of continuous production and the flexibility of versatile assembly. Porsche believes that a flexi-line production system will allow it to increase the number of work cycles in the same amount of space.
Porsche is claiming that the Taycan production process will be carbon neutral, thanks to its pursuit of resource-friendly production.
With the start of Taycan production, Porsche will be creating 1,200 new jobs at its Zuffenhausen site. Not all 1,200 new workers are for the production of the Taycan, as some of them will be assigned for the assembly of two-door sports cars. The entry of more than a thousand new employees at the site will entail a large-scale training initiative, which would employ a digital learning platform.
Furthermore, the sharing of knowledge between motorsport and series production will continue to be an important part of Porsche’s future. One such example of these is the transfer of innovative 800 V technology from the Porsche 919 Hybrid racer to the Taycan. This allows the lithium-ion battery of the Taycan to be recharged in just four minutes, which would be enough to allow the EV to have an extra range of 100 km (as per NEDC).
In terms of charging infrastructure, Porsche -- as part of the joint venture Ionity -- will build 400 high-power charging stations across Europe by end of 2019. VW Group’s Electrify America initiative entails the installation of charging infrastructure at 300 motorway stations across the United States starting 2019. Porsche will also install over 2,000 AC charging points at destinations like hotels in up to 20 markets before formally launching the Taycan to the market.