FU­TURE RE­PORT

IN CON­VER­SA­TION WITH OLIVER BLUME: CHAIR­MAN OF THE BOARD OF PORSCHE AG

Driven - - CONTENTS -

If Porsche serves as an in­di­ca­tor, this might be clos­ing cur­tains for fos­sil fu­els as we know it

DIG­I­TAL­I­SA­TION, CON­NEC­TIV­ITY, ELECTROMOBILITY. WHAT WILL THE FU­TURE BRING? AND HOW WILL THESE MEGATRENDS CHANGE COM­PA­NIES? PORSCHE CHAIR­MAN OF THE EX­EC­U­TIVE BOARD, OLIVER BLUME, TALKS ABOUT STRAT­EGY 2025 AND THE BRAND’S FU­TURE IDEN­TITY.

MR BLUME, LET’S LOOK INTO OUR CRYS­TAL BALL FOR A MO­MENT. WHEN WILL WE SEE THE LAST PORSCHE WITH A COM­BUS­TION EN­GINE?

I would ven­ture to pre­dict that, by 2030, the sporti­est Porsche will have an elec­tric drive. Who knows – maybe by then even our iconic sports car, the 911 will be elec­tric.

DOES THIS MEAN THAT YOU HAVE AL­READY DE­CIDED TO LEAVE BE­HIND CON­VEN­TIONAL DRIVE CON­CEPTS COM­PLETELY?

On the con­trary! It would be ab­surd to think that we could do with­out the com­bus­tion en­gine en­tirely, in the fore­see­able fu­ture. But, equally, we can­not miss the op­por­tu­nity to in­vest heav­ily in electromobility. Be­fore we leave petrol or diesel be­hind, the next decade will see an in­crease in the par­al­lel use of com­bus­tion en­gines and al­ter­na­tive drives. A clear trend is devel­op­ing, and we will de­liver. I am not go­ing to do any­thing hasty, how­ever.

WOULD A DE­CI­SION TO ABAN­DON DIESEL EN­GINES AT PORSCHE BE HASTY?

At Porsche, diesel en­gines have tra­di­tion­ally taken a back seat. Diesel’s share among our ve­hi­cles world­wide is cur­rently 14 per cent. All the same, there’s no rea­son to sud­denly aban­don diesel. If we rushed into drop­ping diesel, we would not be able to en­tirely make up the dif­fer­ence with petrol and hy­brid en­gines.

There are many mar­kets (where) 80 per cent of cus­tomers buy a diesel car. That is why a mix­ture of com­bus­tion en­gines, hy­brids, and elec­tric ve­hi­cles is the right strate­gic re­sponse from Porsche for about the next ten years.

WHY CAN THE TRAN­SI­TION TO ELECTROMOBILITY NOT HAP­PEN FASTER?

There are tech­ni­cal and struc­tural rea­sons for it, but also purely eco­nomic ones. To be­gin

with, the ev­ery­day us­abil­ity of elec­tric cars needs to con­tinue to im­prove – par­tic­u­larly in terms of range and charg­ing time. There is also quite a bit to be done when it comes to in­fras­truc­ture. The pan-Euro­pean high­power charg­ing net­work IONITY by Porsche, Audi, BMW, Daim­ler and Ford is now chart­ing a course to­wards the es­tab­lish­ment of the most pow­er­ful fast-charg­ing net­work for elec­tric ve­hi­cles in Europe. But even this can only be one part of a larger so­lu­tion. The sec­ond rea­son for the de­lay is con­nected to doubts re­gard­ing whether the cur­rent elec­tric­ity mix is bet­ter for the cli­mate than com­bus­tion en­gines. Thirdly, peo­ple of­ten fail to re­alise the Her­culean task faced by our in­dus­try, which is, after all, the back­bone of our econ­omy and our wel­fare state.

IN­CREAS­INGLY STRICT EMIS­SION REG­U­LA­TIONS WITHIN THE EU, WHICH WILL MEAN THAT NEW CARS IN 2030 WILL HAVE TO HAVE 30 PER CENT LOWER EMIS­SIONS THAN THOSE IN 2021, WILL FORCE YOU TO CON­TINUE TO IN­VEST A LOT OF MONEY IN EX­IST­ING TECH­NOLO­GIES AND THEIR AD­VANCE­MENT.

In­vest­ments across the en­tire in­dus­try are enor­mous. The Volk­swa­gen Group, to which Porsche be­longs, is ramp­ing up its in­vest­ments in new, elec­tric-drive mod­els to 20 bil­lion eu­ros by 2030. By 2025, the Group’s brands ex­pect to put more than 80 new car mod­els with e-mo­tors on the mar­ket, in­clud­ing 50 pure e-cars and 30 plug-in hy­brids. Porsche alone will in­vest more than six bil­lion eu­ros in plug-in hy­brids and purely elec­tric ve­hi­cle over the next five years. For a com­pany of our size, that is a con­sid­er­able ex­pen­di­ture. At Porsche’s head­quar­ters in Zuf­fen­hausen, we are spend­ing a bil­lion eu­ros on build­ing a new plant for elec­tric ve­hi­cles. This is prob­a­bly the most am­bi­tious and risky project we have ever un­der­taken. A fac­tory within the fac­tory with 1,200 new jobs.

“OUR CUS­TOMERS’ DE­MANDS FOR IN­DI­VID­UAL MO­BIL­ITY ARE

CHANG­ING CON­SID­ER­ABLY. IT, THERE­FORE, MAKES SENSE FOR

US TO AIM TO BE A LEAD­ING PROVIDER OF DIG­I­TAL MO­BIL­ITY SER­VICES IN THE PREMIUM SEC­TOR OF AU­TO­MO­BILE

MAN­U­FAC­TURE.”

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