Porsche will spend about 1 billion euros ($1.09 billion) on production facilities at its biggest plant to make its first-ever all-electric sports car.
The Volkswagen-owned manufacturer will create more than 1,000 new jobs at its base in Zuffenhausen in Germany where a new paint shop and assembly line will be set up to build the battery-powered “Mission E” model, Porsche said on Friday.
Porsche’s investment in emissions-free drive technology reflects parent VW’s growing commitment to increase its electric offerings as it struggles to overcome an emissions scandal.
VW has said the next generation of its VW-badged flagship luxury saloon Phaeton will be electric and it plans to expand the so-called MQB modular production platform to focus more strongly on long-range plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
Analysts have warned that VW’s admission of rigging diesel emissions tests could cast a shadow over the diesel vehicle industry.
Porsche’s Mission E model, due to come to market by the end of the decade, will be more than 600 horsepower and have a range of over 500 km (310 mile).
“We are sending a significant sign for the future of the brand,” Chairman Wolfgang Porsche said after a meeting of the supervisory board which approved the investment.
Some 700 million euros will be spent at Zuffenhausen where an existing engine plant and body shop will be extended, and the rest will be invested in Porsche’s development center in Weissach, the carmaker said.
The unit of Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest automaker, earmarked 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to build its first battery-powered sports car in December. It’s part of the parent company’s broader push for more low-emission electric and hybrid cars. Volkswagen has sped up its electric efforts since admitting six months ago it had cheated on emissions tests for diesel cars.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said a week ago the company, a fellow Volkswagen unit, will purchase batteries for its electric vehicles from Korean suppliers LG Chem Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co., who have plans in place to start producing battery cells in Europe.
With the Volkswagen scandal throwing the long-term future of diesel into question, other carmakers are also turning anew to electric cars. Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz said last week it will invest 500 million euros to build a second battery factory in Germany because it expects demand to pick up.
Porsche’s electric sports car will be based on the low-slung Mission E concept shown at the Frankfurt auto show six months ago. Set to be produced near the automaker’s German headquarters in Stuttgart, the new model will create some 1,000 jobs.